GE and Southern California Edison (SCE) have unveiled what they claim is the “world’s first battery-gas turbine hybrid system”.

The system in Norwalk, California, is the first of two units that GE has delivered for SCE only months after announcing the initial deployment for the technology.

This system is called the LM6000 Hybrid Electric Gas Turbine (Hybrid EGT) and it supports SCE’s increasing renewable energy capacity by providing quick start, fast-ramping capabilities when needed.

The unit integrates a 10 MW/ 4.3 MWh battery energy storage system capable of immediately providing power with GE’s 50 MW LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine.

“The new system will help SCE better utilize the resources on the grid, provide enhanced reliability, reduce environmental impact, and reduce cost for our operations and for our customers,” said SCE president Ron Nichols. “This technology also allows us to continue to expand our use of solar, wind and other renewable resources.”

GE said it developed the system with SCE – which is part of Edison International – to respond to the changing energy needs in California. The state has committed to a target of 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

GE said the Hybrid EGT “helps balance variable energy supply and demand, including during evening hours when the sun sets and solar power production falls while electricity usage surges as customers return home and turn on lights and appliances”.

“As the electrical grid network continues to evolve, with more intermittent renewables being added every day, products like the Hybrid EGT can help smooth out the delivery of electricity,” said Reinaldo Garcia, president of Grid Solutions from GE Energy Connections.

“Storage and the ability to quickly push power to the grid also play a key role in emergency situations, dispatching energy immediately to the grid ensuring that we are able help keep the lights on for everyone.”

Paul McElhinney, President for GE Power Services, added: “We worked with SCE to address a very specific need, but this solution has applications that go far beyond. We look forward to working with customers to develop tailor-made solutions that will allow them greater flexibility when incorporating renewable energy and other quick power needs.”