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GE, Southern California Edison introduce first battery storage & gas turbine hybrid system

A drawing of the proposed system. Image: General Electric.
GE and Southern California Edison (SCE) announced last week that they plan to install the world’s first battery storage and gas turbine hybrid.

The two-project system calls for the installation of a battery energy storage system from GE's energy 'start-up' Current — along with upgrades to a GE LM6000 gas turbine to merge the two systems.

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT, which is set to be utilised at two SCE sites in the upcoming months, was created in response to changing regulations and grid requirements and will ultimately support increasing renewable energy capacity on the California energy grid.

Phil Herrington, vice president of generation for Southern California Edison, said: “GE’s new LM6000 Hybrid EGT product fits well with SCE's objective of providing cost–effective, innovative solutions that enhance grid reliability, flexibility, and fast response for our customers.”

The hybrid system, which will qualify for California’s Independent System Operator’s (CAISO's) tariff for contingency reserve, will address a crucial issue for southern California — where regulations on natural gas usage and storage are changing due to the state’s Aliso Canyon energy crisis earlier this year.

GE’s power services and Current businesses worked to develop the hybrid solution through a collaborative partnership with Wellhead Power Solutions, LLC.

Eric Gebhardt, chief platforms and operations officer for Current, added: "This was truly a best-in-class joint effort by Southern California Edison, our partners at Wellhead Power Solutions, and multiple GE businesses to enhance our technology and add Current’s battery storage system to existing GE turbines. As a team, we worked together to quickly provide a complete scope of the challenge and find a solution in a very short time frame. Now we can bring this same technology to other GE gas turbine customers around the world.”

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT product merges a 10MW battery energy storage system from Current and a GE LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine with control system upgrades offered by GE’s Power Services.

The LM6000 Hybrid EGT provides ancillary and grid support at a lower cost and smaller GHG footprint than traditional resources — while also providing 50MW of GHG-free spinning reserve, flexible capacity and peaking energy; 25MW of high-quality regulation and 10 MVA of reactive voltage support.

The battery energy storage system is expected to be installed and operational by the end of 2016, while the updated and integrated turbine controls are set to be operational in early 2017. 

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