Termoyopal Power Plant Using GE’s Aeroderivative Technology Adds 150 Megawatts to Enhance Colombian Electricity System Reliability March 08, 2021
GE (NYSE: GE) today announced that the 150 megawatts (MW) expansion of the Termoyopal Power Plant has safely and successfully achieved the start of commercial operation using three GE’s LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbines. The inauguration of the expansion and modernization of the natural gas-fired power plant that included two pre-existing units providing a total of 50 MW and three new generation units—each with a capacity of 50 MW—took place at an event on February 27 in the presence of President of Colombia Iván Duque, Vice-President of Colombia, Martha Lucía Ramírez,; the Minister of Mines and Energy, Diego Mesa; the Vice Minister of Energy, Miguel Lotero and CEO of Termoyopal, Luis Alberto Páez. The newly expanded units are expected to increase the total power plant’s output through the additional 150 MW and improve the efficiency and flexibility needed to support renewables growth in the country and bolster its ability to respond to possible severe weather events.
“This plant plays a crucial role in supporting the diversification of energy sources” commented the President of Colombia Iván Duque during the inauguration. “Termoyopal power generation represents 2 percent of the national power, and 10 percent of the national thermal power. This shows the relevance of Termoyopal plant and its impact on our energy system transformation. Our national goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050”.
“These new units allow Termoyopal to increase its installed capacity up to 200 MW, which will be key to continue supporting a broader generation capacity and grid that provides reliable electric power service to all Colombians, especially in times of little rain” said Vice Minister Miguel Lotero.
Periodically, approximately every four years, Colombia encounters challenging energy shortages due to droughts caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon. With approximately 75 percent of the energy produced in Colombia being hydroelectric energy, this phenomenon causes a prolonged and extreme dry season and disrupts electricity being generated by hydroelectric power. GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines can provide a flexible power to help Termoyopal secure a reliable supply of energy.
“Termoyopal selected GE’s LM6000 aero-derivative gas turbine technology, to help us produce reliable and flexible power. Doing so, we will continue to provide stability to the system by complying with the delivery of the firm energy obligations (OEF), assigned in 2019 under the Reliability Charge auction defined by the national government, and ensure the reliability of the Colombian energy system, in alignment with the national energy transition plan” stated, Luis Alberto Páez, general manager of Termoyopal. He also added: “the inauguration of these three new gas turbines marks the development of the region, because thanks to this project the company had the opportunity to provide work to about 700 people from the communities. Additionally, thanks to GE’s advanced technology, the commissioning of these units will lead to a reduction of noise and atmospheric emissions”.
“We are proud to support Termoyopal in their energy transition program to increase electricity production capacity with more efficient gas technologies, and bring more reliable and flexible power to Colombia—especially when it is most needed,” said Eric Gray, CEO of GE Gas Power for the Americas. “GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines with our advanced DLE (Dry Low Emissions) pre-combustor system will help reduce carbon emissions by 40% as the new units replace the pre-existing aging equipment, without the need for water or steam injection. As the world moves toward a lower carbon future, we are providing more affordable, reliable, flexible and sustainable power to help our customers, like Termoyopal, to be better positioned today and in a lower carbon future.”
Based on an aviation heritage with enhanced fuel flexibility and quick installation times, the LM6000 was GE’s first GT model to feature a battery energy storage system. This Hybrid EGT™ enables contingency spinning reserve without fuel-burn between demand events, high-speed regulation, primary frequency response, and voltage support (-8 to +5 MVAR). The Hybrid EGT consists of a lithium ion 10 MW battery, GE Brilliance* 1.25 MVA Inverters, and OpFlex* Controls upgrades. It incorporates a Mark* VIe control system for the hybrid package. Two units are in operation with Southern California Edison Utility in California.
GE’s aeroderivative gas turbine portfolio currently has the capability to burn blends of hydrogen and natural gas; the specific limit depends on the combustion system configuration. Any units configured with a Dry Low Emissions (DLE) combustion system are limited to 5% by volume hydrogen. Increased concentrations are allowed with the Single Annular Combustor (SAC) configuration, up to 85% by volume of hydrogen when blended with natural gas. This capability varies depending on the type of combustion system used. GE is working to expand this capability through testing in our combustion laboratory.