GE is making its new hybrid battery storage solution available to all of its gas and coal-fired power plants.

The system combines gas turbine peakers and batteries with power-management software that allows for immediate power as gas turbines ramp up. When the gas turbine is fully operational, it recharges the batteries as it supplies power to the grid.
GE hybrid battery storage solution
GE and Southern California Edison first deployed this system, which combined a 50-MW turbine and a 10-MW battery, at two sites near Los Angeles.

The company indicated falling battery costs will make the hybrid system more affordable to an array of power generating facilities.

Meanwhile General Electric Co has begun testing autonomous drones and robotic “crawlers” to inspect industrial equipment with an eye on capturing a bigger slice of the $40bn companies around the globe spend annually on inspections.

In trials with customers, aerial drones and robots are able to move around and inside remote or dangerous facilities while photographing corrosion or taking temperature, vibration or gas readings that can be analyzed by computer algorithms and artificial intelligence, Alex Tepper, head of business development at Avitas Systems, a startup GE formed for this business, told Reuters.

Companies invest heavily in inspecting plants and equipment within the oil and gas, transportation and power generation sectors, Tepper said. He expects robots will not replace humans, but will extend their reach and lower costs.