RWE Turns to GE to Improve Flexibility and Performance
27 June 2017
RWE Generation (RWE) has selected GE’s Power Services business to provide plant equipment upgrades and advanced digital solutions, aiming to enhance the competitiveness, reliability and flexibility of its Great Yarmouth power station in Norfolk, U.K. As power plants age and energy consumption increases, GE’s Fleet360* total plant solutions will provide RWE with new ways to add years to the life cycle of its Great Yarmouth power station while also increasing the amount of electricity it transmits to the grid.
“When first commissioned in 2002, the Great Yarmouth facility was one of the U.K.’s most efficient power stations. Since then, the power industry has grown and evolved, with newer power plants—like our stations at Pembroke and Staythorpe—allowing for more efficient and reliable power generation,” said Steve Glover, director of hard coal and gas power plant U.K., RWE Generation. “At RWE, we contemplated multiple operating scenarios for our Great Yarmouth plant. Ultimately, we decided to implement GE’s technologies and digital solutions to improve plant performance, output, efficiency and flexibility in a cost-effective manner.”
The landmark deal highlights the capabilities of GE’s Fleet360 total plant solutions. The modernizations GE will provide at the Great Yarmouth power station—a 400-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power plant consisting of a GE 9F.03 gas turbine and a GE D10 steam turbine and generator—include a gas turbine upgrade as well as major inspections of the steam turbine and generator with replacements of key components in the steam turbine.
The upgrades also include GE’s Dry Low NOx 2.6+ combustion system, Advanced Gas Path solution, Asset Performance Management advanced digital solution, Mark VIe integrated control system and associated gas and steam turbine generator maintenance. With GE’s Fleet360 upgrade solutions, the plant’s combined-cycle efficiency will be increased by up to 2 percent and its output is expected to be improved by 21 MW—increasing its power output to a level equivalent to the amount needed to power approximately 330,000 homes.
"For the past 12 years, GE has supported RWE’s Great Yarmouth power station with innovative solutions. This latest upgrade builds on our collaborative history and helps improve the plant’s efficiency and flexibility, which, in turn, will increase the facility’s merit order in the U.K.,” said Michael Rechsteiner, vice president, GE’s Power Services business in Europe. “We will inject our advanced technologies in both the combustion and hot gas path sections and implement digital solutions to help RWE’s Great Yarmouth power station meet future U.K. energy consumption targets and emissions thresholds.”
According to the U.K.'s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Energy Consumption in the U.K. report, energy consumption in the U.K. continues to rise. The same department’s U.K. Energy in Brief 2016 report states that as electricity demand increases, so will the need for natural gas as coal consumption declines.
RWE Generation owns, operates and maintains a portfolio of 8,546 MW of gas, coal and biomass power stations in the U.K., including some smaller open-cycle gas turbine and combined heat and power generation assets. GE has active involvement across RWE’s U.K. plants, including at Aberthaw, Pembroke, Staythorpe, Little Barford and Great Yarmouth, which total approximately 6.5 gigawatts of installed capacity.
Throughout the course of 2016, RWE plants with GE power generation equipment supplied 36.7 terawatt-hours of electricity, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the total amount of electricity generated in the U.K.—equivalent to the amount of energy needed to power more than 9 million U.K. households. Upgrading the Great Yarmouth power station demonstrates GE’s and RWE’s commitment to helping to meet the future energy needs of U.K. residents and businesses.
The upgrade will take place in the second quarter of 2018.
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About GE Power
GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.
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About GE’s Power Services
GE’s Power Services, headquartered in Baden, Switzerland, delivers world-class solutions for our customers across total plant assets and their operational lifetimes. This organization supports 2,800+ customers worldwide with an installed base of 28,000+ power generation assets, which includes other OEMs, and taps into the Industrial Internet to improve the performance of our solutions over the entire life cycle through the power of software and big data analytics.