Alstom launches an upgraded version of its KA26 gas-fired power plant technology
Alstom announced today during a Power-Gen meeting held in Milan, the latest upgrade to its KA26 combined-cycle power plant offerings, based on their advanced class GT26 gas turbine. The next generation of this well-proven technology features higher efficiency of over 61%, and increased flexibility: more than 350 MW can be delivered to the grid in less than 15 minutes to enable integration of intermittent renewable sources of energy. The KA26 also offers a higher output of more than 500 MW and lower emissions, avoiding more than 350,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Philippe Joubert, Alstom Power President, says: “This launch represents one step further for Alstom Power in proposing improvements on what is currently one of the best existing gas turbines available on the market in terms of efficiency, flexibility, reactivity, and low environmental impact - all of which are fundamental qualities taking into account the importance of integrating renewable and intermittent energy into the energy mix”.
Gas-fired plants are being called upon more and more to provide reserve power to the grid when intermittent renewable power sources like wind and solar are not in operation. This ability requires features like a faster start up, faster ramping and higher efficiency at lower loads. The enhanced KA26 gas-fired power plant can be started up in less than 30 minutes and can ramp up to deliver more than 350 MW in less than 15 minutes from low load. “Such performance is unparalleled,” said Mark Coxon, Senior Vice President of Alstom’s Gas business. “Alstom is the pioneer of operation flexibility and with the latest developments, we offer a technology today that demonstrates the highest all-round efficiency and flexibility supporting the growth of renewable energy.”
The plant can also deliver more than 500 MW of power output, enough to meet the electricity needs of approximately a million households. Efficiencies of over 61% are also achievable. This significant gain in power output and efficiency comes from an existing well-proven technology platform. The gas turbine is being offered to the market following extensive R&D and testing at Alstom’s full-scale Test Power Plant in Birr, Switzerland.
Clean energy is the key driver of Alstom’s R&D and product development. The efficiency achieved by the KA26, which is offered as a carbon capture ready plant, can avoid more than 350,000 tonnes of CO2 annually*, an improvement equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of over 145,000 cars on European roads.
The GT24/GT26 gas turbines were introduced in the mid 1990’s and more than 60 combined cycle plants based on this turbine are currently in operation. Over 10000 MW from this technology went online in 2010.
*Improvement based on the average efficiency of combined cycle power plants in the EU-27 as per IEA, 2007