GE Energy's first 60-hertz 7H gas turbine, one of the most efficient and advanced machines of its type in the world, has completed testing and is on its way to the Inland Empire Energy Center near Riverside, California. A few 50-hertz units have been sold in Europe but this will be the first installation of 60-hertz H System(TM) technology.
The 7H is the world's first combined-cycle platform with the capability to reach 60+ percent thermal efficiency.
The 7H, the first of two units planned for the 775-megawatt Inland Empire project, was shipped from GE's Greenville, South Carolina facility on September 15. Operating on natural gas, the two GE 107 H combined-cycle units at Inland Empire will produce enough power to supply nearly 600,000 households while reducing future carbon dioxide emissions by more than 146,000 tons a year, compared to a typical gas-fired power plant of a similar size. The new power plant is expected to enter commercial service by the summer of 2008.
The project consists of two combustion turbine-generators with heat recovery steam generators, one steam turbine generator, associated pollution-control equipment, a switchyard, and other ancillary facilities.
Representing a technology breakthrough for the global power industry, the H System features an innovative steam cooling system that enables the higher firing temperatures required for increased efficiency. In addition, engineers designed the H turbine's first-stage buckets and nozzles with single-crystal materials to withstand higher temperatures over a long service life.
GE is keeping close control over this project. They will finance and own the Inland Empire Energy Center. Calpine Power Services will manage plant construction, and Calpine Energy Services will market the plant's output and manage fuel requirements under a long-term marketing arrangement with GE. Following an extended period of GE ownership, Calpine expects to purchase the plant and become its sole owner and operator.
While I am not a fan of natural gas power plants, this is a major technological achievement and does provide the most efficient use of natural gas for the production of power.