GDF SUEZ Energy North America has awarded Alstom a long-term service contract to give its power plant fleet new flexibility. Under the terms of this €360 million (US $480 million) contract, Alstom will provide comprehensive maintenance services and gas turbine upgrade packages for four GDF SUEZ natural gas-fired power stations. The plants together use fourteen Alstom GT24 gas turbines and generate enough electricity to power more than three million homes in Texas and Massachusetts.
“Reliability, flexibility, and efficiency drive performance in our generation business,” said Herman Schopman, president and CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy Generation NA. “This service contract underscores the importance we place on those attributes, and we are pleased to partner with Alstom to continue working on them for the long term.”
Alstom’s responsibilities for the Midlothian and Hays plants in Texas, and Bellingham and Blackstone power plants in Massachusetts include management and provision of replacement parts, technical field advisors and gas turbine services for their fourteen power generating units over the life of the contract. The first upgrade installation is scheduled for the fall of 2014.
Alstom will upgrade the turbines with features enabling plant operators to switch between operating modes based on electricity market demand without taking the plant offline. The first operating mode included in this upgrade package maximizes power output during periods of peak demand while the second lowers the cost of running and maintaining the gas turbines by increasing the time between service inspections. This boost in operational flexibility is particularly important in the highly-competitive Texas electricity market where plants are often called on to rapidly increase and decrease power output.
“Alstom has invested heavily in advancing its natural gas power generating technologies to better meet the long-term needs of its customers,” according to Hans-Peter Meer, Senior Vice President of Alstom’s Thermal Services business. “For GDF SUEZ Energy North America, those investments will translate into bottom-line benefits once the GT24 upgraded fleet is performing to the new standard in operational flexibility.”
The four power stations included in this agreement constitute the largest fleet of Alstom GT24 gas turbines owned by a single customer, and the company has provided service support for the plants since they entered commercial service.