This week, General Electric (GE) and Southern California Edison (SCE) announced that they had retrofitted a natural gas peaker plant with a 10 MW, 4.3 MWh battery installation to create the world’s first hybrid electric gas turbine. Peaker plants only run when demand for electricity is high, and they can be used to fill in the gaps between baseload energy and intermittent renewables.
The trouble with natural gas peaker plants, however, is that they can waste a lot of fuel in standby mode and when getting ramped up to the point where they can be put on the grid.
But GE’s battery solution cuts out the fuel used during those times.
“The energy storage capacity of the battery has been specifically designed to provide enough time coverage to allow the gas turbine to start and reach its designated power output,” GE writes.
This eliminates the need to burn fuel while the gas turbine is kept spinning in standby mode.
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