Italian Utility A2A Group Expands Use of GE's Solutions to Increase Flexibility at Four Power Plants in Italy
- GE’s Hardware and Digital Solutions Will Help Improve Performance at A2A’s Power Plants in Lombardy, Piemonte and Friuli Regions
- Project Builds on the Successful Phase One of Digital Upgrades at 1,179-Megawatt Chivasso Power Plant
- Chivasso Power Plant Achieves Total Plant Flexibility Milestone-Plant Starts in a Range from Approximately 90 to 120 Minutes in Every Condition
- GE Uses Its Cross-Fleet Capabilities to Modernize Steam Turbines from Other Original Equipment Manufacturers
BADEN, SWITZERLAND -March 7, 2019-With the impact of renewables in the electricity mix, today’s power generation fleet is expected to run differently than it was originally planned. GE (NYSE: GE) today announced Italian utility A2A Group (A2A) is continuing to modernize its power assets, deploying GE’s services, hardware and software solutions at four of its facilities in Piemonte, Lombardia and Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. GE’s solutions will help A2A increase the flexibility, efficiency and reliability of its Chivasso, Sermide, Cassano and Monfalcone power plants, which generate approximately a combined 3,420 megawatts (MW) of power-equal to power approximately 1.1 million Italian homes.
“We are continuing to digitize our power plants to both modernize the facilities and improve their efficiency,” said Valerio Camerano, CEO of the A2A Group. “These initiatives are putting us on a path that will help us make the four plants more flexible to quickly adapt to market conditions, while also improving the ecological footprint and reducing operating costs.”
A2A first installed GE’s Operations Performance Management (OPM) software at the Chivasso power plant after the facility was reopened in November 2015. The digital solutions, part of GE’s Digital Energy portfolio, helped make Chivasso competitive again in the ancillary service segment while GE’s hardware increased the flexibility of the plant by achieving a 65-MW per gas turbine minimum load level-currently the best in GE’s 9FA fleet-and enabling load ramping at up to 50 MW per minute or two-and-a-half times the normal rate.
“We are pleased to collaborate with A2A and continue to deploy GE’s technologies at its power plants across Italy,” said Michael Rechsteiner, CEO of GE’s Power Services business in Europe. “By extending the use of our Fleet360* platform of total plant solutions to provide a full spectrum of digital solutions and plant improvement services, regardless of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), we are helping A2A increase the flexibility of its plants, and ultimately increase their competitiveness in Italy.”
Phase two, built on the success of the initial efforts, extends the implementation of GE’s digital solutions to three more plants in Northern Italy and includes multiyear service agreements, balance of plant services and hardware upgrades to help significantly reduce startup times.
GE and A2A will modernize four power plants:
- Chivasso power plant: GE completed the installation of GE’s Predix* Asset Performance Management solution and the upgrade of the facility’s steam turbine, manufactured by Ansaldo, to increase its flexibility. With GE’s heat retention system upgrade, the steam turbine reduced drastically its startup time to 90 minutes from warm start. This result, coupled with the record ramping time of the two GE 9FA gas turbines’ upgrade achieved two years ago, marks a new milestone for the 1,179-MW Chivasso power plant-and for plants of this size-being able to start the entire plant in a range from 90 to 120 minutes in every condition.
- Cassano power plant: Implemented last Fall, GE’s APM software is helping increase the reliability and operational life of the power station and reducing operating and maintenance costs.
- Monfalcone power plant: Implemented in June 2017, GE’s APM solution is helping improve predictive maintenance capabilities and the availability of the power station. In addition, services solutions helped increase the performance of a Franco Tosi steam turbines and a generator manufactured by Marelli.
- Sermide power plant: in April 2018, GE completed the deployment of GE’s OPM software solutions, along with key equipment upgrades to two GE 9FA gas turbines.
GE’s relationship with the Chivasso power plant dates back more than six decades, beginning with the installation of GE’s first steam turbine in Italy in 1952. GE has upgraded a total of six 9FA gas turbines at A2A’s Chivasso, Sermide and Cassano power plants by installing its digital solutions-helping to reduce plant downtime and interruptions in production while increasing plant responsiveness to meet fast-changing grid demands. For the past 15 years, GE has maintained and serviced the utility’s gas turbines to provide cost-effective performance improvements.
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