GE bundles battery storage with gas turbines

General Electric engineers developed a battery storage with turbine power generation technology the company says works like a hybrid car, making energy more available on the grid when it’s needed.

According to GE, the technology combines gas turbine peakers and batteries wrapped in a single package with power-management software.

“With a hybrid gas turbine, you don’t have to run the turbine at all,” says Brian Gutknecht, chief marketing officer for GE Power. “If power is called for, batteries can provide immediate power. Meanwhile, you can start up the gas turbine.”

In April, Southern California Edison deployed this solution at two sites near Los Angeles. The system is expected to lead to a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

The California hybrid combined a 50 MW turbine, capable of reaching full power in about 5 minutes, and a 10 MW battery assembled from lithium-ion cells that lasts up to 30 minutes.

“The new system delivered what we’d been looking for: immediate response capability from the peakers,” says Vibhu Kaushik, principal manager of asset management and generation strategy at SCE.

GE is now making this solution available on all of its gas- and coal-fired power plants. The company also has plans to include wind turbines, solar PV modules and hydro plants.

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