Combined Cycle, Gas, Gas Turbines, Retrofits & Upgrades

Auction house announces sale of GE’s GTCC California plant, in whole or parts

General Electric, which shut down a 10-year-old gas-fired power plant which still had two decades of expected service life, is now putting the California facility up to sale with several partners.

The GE Power Inland Empire Energy Center, located in Menifee, was opened in 2009, offering 790 MW of combined-cycle gas turbine power. The company earlier this year filed decommissioning papers on the plant, deeming it uneconomical in the face of California’s push for renewable energy resources, according to reports.

The Branford Group, an industrial and equipment auction firm, this week announced the private treaty sale offering of the GE Inland Empire Energy Center. The notice highlights Inland’s operational and environmental benefits, saying it emits “140,000 tons less carbon dioxide than comparable plants.”

The power is generated from GE’s H-system combined-cycle turbines, two Toshiba steam turbines, generators, H turbine spare parts, controllers, switchgear, heat exchangers, chiller systems and cranes, according to the Branford release.

If not purchased in entirety, the equipment will be sold separately via an online auction next year. Turnkey buyers will be encouraged to submit offers prior to the New Year’s Day.

California is the nation’s top solar energy producing state, by far, which has also generated an historic amount of subsidized and ever cheaper renewable electricity on the grid. The state also is requiring rooftop solar panels on all new home construction beginning 2020.

Unit 1 has been in operation this year, but Inland Empire’s Unit 2 has been closed since 2017.

Prior to announcing closure of the plant, which sold its power on the merchant electricity market, GE said that the state policies “rank reliability and cost as low priorities.”

The company is also in the midst of a financial restructuring that includes asset sales and reducing billions in pension liabilities.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International.)