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.