Colorado utility orders GE mobile gas-fired turbine packages for coal-to-gas transition

Rendering courtesy GE Gas Power

Community-owned power producer Colorado Springs Utilities is adding the latest in gas-fired turbines and technologies as it lowers emissions output and transitions out of coal-fired generation.

Colorado Springs Utilities has ordered six of GE’s LM2500XPRESS aeroderivative gas turbine packages for its power generation portfolio. The 34-MW units units are the first of their kind to be installed in North America and expected to start commercial operation by the summer of 2022, according to GE.

The units are mobile and can be moved around on trailers. They eventually will be relocated to other sites in the Colorado Springs area.

“The LM2500XPRESS units were purchased to provide safe, affordable and reliable generation to support the increased use of renewable solar and wind power,” said Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Aram Benyamin. “These natural gas units will help us better integrate renewable energy sources, further reduce CO2 emissions, and accelerate the retirement of the Martin Drake Power Plant.”

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The next-gen gas-fired capacity will help the utility bridge gap once it retires the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant in December 2022, 12 years earlier that previously planned. Colorado Springs will complete a new transmission line by 2025.

The LM2500XPRESS generators are assembly into simplified modules and provide a “plug and play” concept with installation taking less than three weeks. Each power block includes the gas turbine, gas compressor and emissions control system.

A black-start diesel generator also will be include for quick start capabilities during grid outage events.

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Gas-fired turbines and technologies are a key part of content in the POWERGEN International series. Next week’s POWERGEN+ online is focused on Utility Workforce and Asset Management, featuring U.S. DOE, Deloitte, Exelon, ComEd, NRG Energy, Sargent & Lundy, UBC Millwrights, Babcock & Wilcox, ENERCON and the Energy Cast podcast. Attendance and sessions are happening bimonthly.

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