GE opened the Sky Global Partners’ Sky Global Power One power plant, which features six of GE’s Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines–representing the first six 60-hertz, 8.6 MW units to be in commercial operation in the United States.
The power plant is located in Colorado County, Texas, and will supply peaking power to meet the power demands of the 18,000 members of San Bernard Electric Cooperative in an eight-county region of south Central Texas.
GE provided six of its 60-hertz, 8.6 MW J920 FleXtra ultra-fast response, natural gas-fired engine generator sets for the 51 MW Sky Global Power One project, including a multiyear service agreement to increase asset availability.
The plant will use no more water than a single residence. Sky Global Partners will sell peaking power generation to the San Bernard Electric Cooperative, Inc., which supplies electricity to more than 18,000 members. This partnership between Sky Global Partners and SBEC allows SBEC to participate in the value of the project through its investment in the purchased power over time.
Due to the increasing installed base of renewable power generation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region and the intermittent nature of these energy sources, the power plant must be able to provide a very high degree of flexibility within a short period to offset the volatility of the wind and solar resources, thus ensuring grid stability.
While GE supplied the core equipment consisting of six engines and the exhaust emission reduction systems, Sky Global Partners contracted with Haskell to design and construct the overall power plant. Sky Global Partners is the managing partner. SBEC’s participation in the project includes not only purchasing power, but also active participation in the management of the power plant. The financial collaborators for the plant are Sky Global Partners, Prudential Capital Group and The Lincoln National Life Insurance 9 million.
Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state, accounting for more than one-tenth of total U.S. energy use. Contributing factors include its large and growing population, extreme summer temperatures and extensive industrial/manufacturing sector. When compared to the rest of the country, Texas has a higher concentration of energy-intensive industries such as aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass and petroleum refining.