From Giant Blades to Record-Setting Gas Turbines, GE Can Help Power Tunisia Forward
In the 21st century, it’s difficult for a single source of energy to drive a modern economy. For a country like Tunisia that has embraced this reality, GE offers a mix of conventional and renewable power technologies to support sustainable economic growth.
This has been underpinned by Tunisia’s push toward energy efficiency and renewables, with a goal of generating 3,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity from wind and solar by 2030. That will be nearly one-third of total generating capacity.
With its new 5MW-range Cypress onshore wind platform, GE offers efficient wind technologies to help the country achieve those goals.
The Cypress has a proprietary, two-piece blade design that means blades can be manufactured at even longer lengths. This makes it possible for a turbine to increase its annual energy production (AEP). This, in turn, drives down the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for wind farms using Cypress, making projects more affordable and lowering costs to utilities.
In Tunisia, the Cypress is an excellent fit, allowing for significant Annual Energy Production [AEP] improvements while maximizing the amount of power that can be added from each wind farm, all the while reducing the number of turbines needed per site.
GE also is developing hybrid power plant technologies that envision developing power plants with wind, solar, and battery technologies. This allows for the sharing of balance-of-plant infrastructure and electricity transmission lines – thereby lowering the total cost of building and operating the plants.
The hybrid model – systems that integrate multiple sources of energy generation, like wind and solar, and/or energy storage together with a single control system – also can ensure more electricity is generated from the plant more often, since when the wind is low, it might be sunny, and conversely, at night or in cloudy weather, the wind might be blowing.
Additionally, GE is designing these hybrid plants to incorporate battery storage. This increases the plant’s ability to deliver power to the grid – not only when it’s being generated by sunshine or wind – but rather, when it’s needed most by consumers.
GE also offers technologies that are an excellent fit for Tunisia on the conventional energy side. GE’s HA technology is the world’s most efficient heavy-duty gas turbine, now available at more than 64% efficiency in a combined-cycle configuration. The efficiency level is important because each 1% increase in efficiency in a gas turbine can translate to millions in annual fuel savings for customers globally, as well as lower emissions per megawatt of electricity generated. This is critical for net fuel-importing countries such as Tunisia.
GE’s fleet of HA gas turbines has surpassed more than 340,000 operating hours and secured over 95 orders from more than 40 customers across more than 15 countries. Power plants in France and Japan have both set world records for efficiency by using GE’s HA turbines.
It’s not just with new equipment that GE can help Tunisia decrease emissions and improve the efficiency of its power infrastructure. GE can also help existing gas power plants improve operations through advanced upgrade solutions. For example, GE’s Advanced Gas Path (AGP) solution has been installed on more than 435 gas turbines across 39 countries on five continents, generating $775 million a year in benefits for power producers. GE’s GT26 HE (high efficiency) upgrade can help unlock over 2 percent base load increased efficiency, translating to as much as $4 million in fuel savings annually per unit.
GE recently hosted the “Powering Tunisia Forward” day, an in-depth, cross-energy sector workshop on the future of power in the country. It was attended by over 140 industry representatives and power sector experts. The event also showcased technology across GE’s Power and Renewable Energy portfolios, highlighting the transformative effect that next-generation technology could have on the country’s economy.