Almost one Solyndra.
General Electric Co. and France’s national utility EDF will develop an advanced 510-megawatt gas-fired generation plant with faster ramping speed that makes it an effective backup to variable wind and solar generation, the companies said today.
The plant, to be located at an existing EDF power plant site in Bouchain, in northern France, is scheduled to open in late 2015. Both EDF and GE will invest in the plant. The project’s cost was not announced, but GE said it will be in the range of $530 million.
GE’s system combines a gas turbine, a steam turbine running off waste heat from the gas unit, a generator and control system engineered to provide a more flexible strategy for supporting variable wind and solar generation, the company said. It can ramp up at a rate of more than 50 megawatts per minute, twice the rate of today’s industry standard, reaching a maximum load in less than 30 minutes — and ramp down as quickly when not needed, GE said.
So it costs a lot more to back up renewables which produce electricity that costs a lot more.