Mitsubishi Power supplying enhanced 228-MW G-Series gas turbine for El Paso utility

Rendering courtesy Mitsubishi Power

El Paso Electric has selected Mitsubishi Power to supply a new gas turbine replacing older, less efficient units.

Delivery and operation of the 228-MW Smart M501GAC enhanced-response (SmartER) gas turbine will help El Paso Electric attain emission goals within its long-term energy supply resource plan, the utility said.

Mitsubishi’s M501GAC SmartER will allow EPE to triple its renewable generation capacity. The new turbine also replaces three less efficient units also deemed less reliable after more than 60 years in operation, according to the report.

“To help achieve our bold vision of reducing our carbon footprint 40 percent below 2015 levels by 2035, we sought a partner that could deliver a gas turbine with flexible and reliable power to complement renewables, as well as deep industry expertise in renewable integration,” said Steve Buraczyk, Senior Vice President of Operations at El Paso Electric. “Mitsubishi Power delivers both. The G-Series advanced class gas turbines offer flexibility and a proven record. Those features combined with Mitsubishi Power’s extensive experience as a systems integrator and its advanced hydrogen-capable gas turbine design made Mitsubishi Power’s solution our top choice.”

El Paso Electric is adding 200 MW of utility-scale solar and 50 MW of energy storage capacity to its resource mix. The fast response Mitsubishi Power SmartER can operate on natural gas and up to 30 percent of carbon-free hydrogen, with future adaptations possibly bringing the fuel mix to 100 percent hydrogen, according to the report.

“Like many of our customers throughout the United States, EPE is replacing carbon-intensive assets with a combination of renewables, storage and natural gas power generation to meet the growing demand for cleaner affordable and reliable electricity,” Paul Browning, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas, said in a statement. “Our gas turbine will enable EPE’s current decarbonization plan, integrating seamlessly with the utility’s renewable energy sources. In addition, its green hydrogen compatibility provides a path toward zero-carbon emissions in the future.”

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The SmartER M501GAC is an integration of Mitsubishi Power’s reliable G-Series turbine technology, which has amassed 5.7 million operating hours, and its TOMONI digital solutions that provide world-class analytics and artificial intelligence. Mitsubishi Power has implemented improvements at gas turbine plants worldwide to achieve faster startup, faster ramp rates, and better efficiency.

El Paso Electric generates and delivers electricity to nearly 450,000 customers in the Rio Grande Valley region of west Texas and southern New Mexico.

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