GE partners with US utility on smart power generation

US independent power producer PSEG collaborated with power generation and water technologies firm GE Power to upgrade its plant in Bridgeport Harbor, Connecticut

The partnership will allow the power generation company to supply the utility with a 7HA.02 gas turbine engineered equipment package for the generation and supply of cleaner and more reliable energy.

The package will consist of a steam turbine, generators and a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) and is part of PSEG’s motive to close its existing coal fired power plant to reduce carbon emissions in line with state’s requirements.

The existing plant is said to have been in operation for 800 hours a year for the last 50 years and is the last coal powered still running in Connecticut.

[quote] However, the new 7HA.02,  485MW plant set to begin construction in 2019, will be able to run for 8,000 hours per year with low emissions, producing electricity able to power 500,000 households.

In addition to being gas fuelled, the new plant will also use ultra-low sulfur distillate as a back up fuel in line with the ISO-NE region’s plants recommendations for backing up of gas powered plants during long cold winters.

The news follows a partnership between the two companies which saw PSEG connecting its five plants with its Monitoring & Diagnostic Center to allow a centralised digital management of power generation assets.

Joe Mastrangelo, CEO of gas power systems at GE Power said: “These projects demonstrate the value of combining GE’s HA gas turbine with our complementary steam tail technologies and the power of software.”

Other benefits of the plant will include the ability to start up and achieve emission compliance within 30 minutes while generating 200MW within 10 minutes.

The technology also allows plant flexibility to ramp up or down at 50-MW per minute.

Gas powering in the US

In late March, global energy technology company Itron announced that it secured a AMI contract with US gas utility Questar Gas.

Under the contract, the Itron will upgrade utility’s automated gas metering system by installing 650,000 gas communication modules.

The project is expected will enhance Questar Gas’ operations and better service to its 1 million customers in the US state of Utah, south western Wyoming and south eastern Idaho.

Commenting on the development, Craig Wagstaff, president of Questar Gas said the deal will “further improve our operations, reduce labor costs and pass the savings on to our customers.”

Itron claims its technology will enable the utility to continue collecting meter reads remotely with mobile data collection technology, streamlining meter reading and improving billing accuracy and reliability.



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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.