An association of four German utilities has selected GE’s (NYSE:GE) advanced 109FB combined-cycle technology to help meet the flexible operating and efficiency requirements of the new Mittelsbüren power plant located near Bremen, Germany.
Gemeinschaftskraftwerk Bremen GmbH & Co. KG, which includes German utilities swb, Deutsche Bahn Energie, TOBI and Mainova, was recently formed to build and operate the Mittelsbüren plant.
GE and its consortium partner, Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios S.A., have signed equipment and service contracts totaling more than €300 million (US$425 million) for the project, which is designed to help Gemeinschaftskraftwerk Bremen respond to the challenges of the German electricity grid, as more wind enters the country’s energy mix.
Successful energy policy has enabled Germany to be a world leader in wind power production, resulting in large amounts of wind turbines being added to the country’s electricity grid.
Since wind is an intermittent energy supply, it presents new challenges for power producers today. When power generation fluctuates, it is necessary to have equipment to accommodate the intermittent changes.
Flexible, efficient gas turbine combined-cycle technology can fill an important role in balancing the mix of power generation required to provide a reliable supply of electricity from diverse energy sources including renewable energy.
“We evaluated all options and concluded that in our heavily renewable-penetrated grid, GE’s 109FB combined-cycle plant was the clear choice due to its overall economics,” said Matthias Schaup, head of the project department of swb Erzeugung. “The new plant will be designed to help ensure a reliable power supply at high efficiency.” swb initiated the project in 2009 and is in charge of the project management.
The new power plant is expected to supply more than 440-megawatts (MW) of electricity for the North German region when it enters service in 2013, including 165 MW to meet the power requirements of Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national railway operator. The project includes the supply of a 9FB gas turbine, 109A-17 steam turbine, 450H generator, heat recovery steam generator, Mark VIe distributed control system, customer training and plant commissioning.
GE’s consortium partner, Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios S.A., will be responsible for balance-of-plant, civil works and erection.
In addition, GE has signed a contractual service agreement (CSA) with the customer. This agreement will help ensure performance guarantees, predictable maintenance costs and access to GE’s latest technology and global experience. GE’s CSAs are structured to help power plant operators enhance the long-term performance from their installed assets, which can provide them a competitive advantage in today’s challenging power generation sector.
“GE’s latest 109FB combined-cycle plant offers faster startup, improved startup emissions, less fuel consumption during ramp-up to full-load operation and extended turndown, resulting in a more flexible operating profile for our customers,” said Ricardo Cordoba, president of GE Energy Western Europe and North Africa. “GE leads the industry in offering the most flexible and reliable combined-cycle power plant in its class today.”
The heart of GE’s 109FB combined-cycle plant, the 9FB is GE’s most advanced, air-cooled 50-hertz gas turbine. The first 9FB went into commercial operation in 2006 and today, more than 50 are operating or on order worldwide. In combined-cycle operation, the 9FB is capable of 59 percent base load efficiency, making it one of the most efficient machines in its class. The 9FB is a member of the GE family of F-class gas turbines; more than 1,000 F-class turbines are operating around the world and have compiled 33 million hours of service.
The Mittelsbüren plant will be equipped with GE’s advanced DLN 2.6+ combustion system, which will help to maintain NOx and CO emissions performance down to less than 40 percent load while increasing availability by improving combustion system inspection intervals.
GE’s 109A-17 steam turbine for the project features a compact, power-dense design, which contributed to GE’s capability to provide a power plant that was able to fit on swb’s existing site. Additionally, the steam turbine offers several technology enhancements that help to increase the overall efficiency of the plant.
Also featured for the Mittelsbüren project will be GE’s Mark* Vle plant control system. This technology provides greater levels of operational flexibility and higher levels of performance while maintaining a high degree of equipment protection.
GE has a strong presence in Germany and is particularly active in the areas of cleaner energy, healthcare, aviation and research. One of the company’s five global research centers, GE Global Research Europe, is based in Garching, near Munich. Other GE Energy sites in Germany that drive innovation include a new offshore wind Technology Center in Hamburg and the European Headquarters for Renewables in Salzbergen, Lower Saxony. GE ranks among the most attractive employers in Germany, providing more than 7,000 jobs.
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