El Paso Electric to expand New Mexico power plant with GE gas turbine technology

Source: GE

To meet growing electricity demands in the western portion of its service area and to enhance overall power system reliability, El Paso Electric Company will expand its Rio Grande power plant in Sunland Park, New Mexico, with advanced GE (NYSE:GE) aeroderivative gas turbine technology. GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines offer high power output with low emissions, high energy efficiency and reliability and a fast-start capability that can accommodate volatile grid conditions. 

GE will provide an 88-megawatt (MW) LMS100PA aeroderivative gas turbine (at site conditions) with ~43 percent energy-efficiency in this simple-cycle application. GE also will supply a control building and emissions-control equipment that includes a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for control of nitrogen oxides and a carbon monoxide reduction system. The new turbine will run on natural gas and, ultimately, will add operational flexibility to the less-efficient steam turbines now in use that are less energy-efficient and produce higher emissions. The new turbine will serve some 50,000 customers in the Las Cruces and El Paso, Texas, areas once it is operational in May 2013. GE will ship the equipment to El Paso Electric in May 2012. 

The LMS100 series of aeroderivative gas turbines is part of GE’s ecomaginationsm portfolio. ecomagination is GE’s business strategy to help meet customers’ demands for products that improve their bottom line and reduce their impact on the environment. It is based on GE’s belief that solving environmental problems is good business around the world. It represents a pledge by the company to continually improve operations and invest in research and development to produce innovative products. Through ecomagination, GE is driving a global energy transformation with a focus on innovation and R&D investment to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology. 

LMS100 technology also helps energy companies take advantage of the growing trend to use abundant, cleaner-burning natural gas for power generation. In addition to being a cleaner-burning fuel and a better fit for flexible, efficient power generation, emerging exploration and production technologies are bringing record amounts of natural gas to market. This increase in global natural gas production will help ensure reliable supply and a consistent price structure, making the fuel an economically viable, dependable solution moving forward. Natural gas also enables the integration of more renewable energy onto power grids by filling the gap when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. 

“GE’s LMS100-series turbines have roots in the jet engines that power the world’s airlines and they bring unparalleled efficiency along with fast start-ups, unmatched performance on hot days and flexible load-following and cycling capabilities, making them ideal solutions for power generation planners and developers for a variety of applications, said Darryl Wilson, vice president—aeroderivative gas turbines for GE Power & Water. “What they do most of all, however, is solve problems and create opportunities for our customers.” 

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 371,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. El Paso Electric has a net dependable generating capability of 1,643 MW. El Paso Electric’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EE.

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