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Mitsubishi Power’s first USA-made JAC turbine heads to Illinois to provide flexibility to PJM

Mitsubishi Power’s first JAC gas turbine manufactured in America under way on the Savannah River, beginning its journey from Georgia to J-POWER USA’s 1,200 MW Jackson Generation project in Illinois. Credit: Business Wire

Mitsubishi Power announced that it shipped the first JAC gas turbine manufactured in America to J-POWER USA Development Co. Ltd. (J-POWER USA) for its 1,200-MW Jackson Generation project in Elwood, Illinois. This company said that the turbine will provide flexible generation that complements additional wind and solar energy and reduces Illinois’ dependence on coal-fired generation.

The M501JAC gas turbine in transit to Illinois is the first of two that Mitsubishi Power’s Savannah Machinery Works is manufacturing for the project and will be the first M501JAC installed in North America, said Mitsubishi Power. The Jackson Generation project’s combined-cycle power plant will be dispatched into the PJM regional transmission organization.

When the plant enters commercial service in 2022, it will be one of the world’s most fuel-efficient natural gas power plants, offering among the lowest carbon emissions of any combined-cycle plant, said the company, adding that it will produce 65 percent less carbon dioxide than a legacy coal-fired power plant. Because the plant is designed to enable more uptake of renewable power, the carbon reduction will be even greater when the plant is combined with renewables. The plant will be able to cycle quickly to meet fluctuating energy demands. It also will incorporate best available control technology to minimize emissions.

The JAC gas turbine’s fuel flexibility — an integral part of Mitsubishi Power’s J-Series combustion system — will enable the plant to use locally available fuel with higher ethane content, significantly improving project economics. The fuel flexibility combined with high efficiency will ultimately reduce electricity cost for consumers.

Introduced nearly a decade ago, the J-Series gas turbines, which are Mitsubishi Power’s largest and most advanced, deliver an unmatched combination of 99.6 percent reliability and greater than 64 percent efficiency. The fleet has logged more than 1 million operating hours globally, said Mitsubishi.

Like its twin, the second turbine for J-POWER USA’s Jackson Generation plant is being manufactured at Mitsubishi Power’s Savannah Machinery Works. The facility opened in 2010 and today manufactures gas turbine parts, provides steam turbine services, and manufactures advanced fuel-efficient gas turbines. The facility employs more than 180 people.

“Shipping the first M501JAC manufactured in America for the J-POWER USA project in America’s heartland is a significant milestone,” said Paul Browning, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas. “Our highly trained team of professionals in Savannah is yet another reason Mitsubishi Power is a world leader in the electric power sector. Not only will our turbines enable Jackson Generation to provide efficient, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity to consumers, but they also will help the plant support deployment of even more renewable energy resources. That is a Change in Power.”