GE kicks off project for flexible large-scale power plant in Germany


GE kicks off project for flexible large-scale power plant in Germany

Together with general contractor Kraftanlagen München (KAM), GE (NYSE: GE) is supporting the municipal utility Stadtwerke Kiel in the construction of a modern gas-fired thermal power plant, representing a new, extremely flexible generation of energy production plants. The project, which was kicked off today with the contract signing, comprises 20 units of GE’s most powerful gas engine and is to date the largest order for the GE gas engines product line in Jenbach. The new environmentally sound energy solution will replace the existing coal-fired community power plant and will particularly supply the region with district heating. As a nationwide unique project, the new plant already is considered a model, setting new standards with respect to flexibility, efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The 20 Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines form the heart of the plant, supplying a total output of 190 megawatts (MW) of electrical and 192 MW of thermal energy, which will be fed into the electrical and district heating network, thus contributing to grid stability. The total efficiency of the equipment from GE is greater than 90 percent; electrical efficiency is 45 percent. The marketing of balancing energy and the integration of an electrode boiler (power-to-heat) during periods of low electricity prices provide an extremely flexible and economical solution. This ensures not only the regional supply, but also guarantees operational cost-effectiveness. Compared with the previous coal-fired power plant, CO2 emissions are reduced from 1.8 million tons to approx. 540,000 tons.

“Kraftanlagen München was quick in selecting the right concept and has found the best-suited partner for this project with GE. The new gas-fired thermal power plant in Kiel is a groundbreaking example for the successful realization of the energy transition plan by employing highly efficient combined heat and power generation. We are happy to implement this large-scale project using GE’s Jenbacher gas engines,” stated Gerrit Koll, business unit leader, energy- and power plant technology at KAM.

“With our flexible and highly efficient gas engine technology, we’re proud to make a decisive contribution to the pioneering project from Stadtwerke Kiel and Kraftanlagen München. Versatility in the electricity exchange paired with inexpensive costs for heat generation will be the way forward in Kiel,” said Oliver Klitzke, Executive Operations GE Germany. “Cogeneration systems as distributed and load-oriented applications form the ideal bridge to the energy system of the future, allowing us security in energy supply, the highest level of efficiency and therefore minimal primary energy consumption.”

The greatest possible flexibility was a primary requirement of the new Stadtwerke Kiel plant. Due to the high proportion of wind-generated electricity in the regional grid, the power plant has to be able to feed full power into the local electrical grid within a short period in order to offset the volatility of the wind level, thus ensuring stability of the grid. The Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines by GE can optimally compensate for these fluctuations. Their full capacity can be called up in just a few minutes. Thus, the efficient GE engines demonstrate that they are the ideal bridge technology and application to implement the energy transition plan in Germany, with the goal of generating 80 percent of electricity from renewable and therefore, volatile energy sources by 2050.

The order from Stadtwerke Kiel is divided into two phases. The initial project involves the planning and construction of the pump house to connect to the district heating system, the electrode boiler and heat storage as well as scheduling and obtaining operating approval for the entire system, including gas engines. The second phase of the project, including construction of the gas engine power plant, is scheduled to be underway starting in May 2016.

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