Flexibility Overview

The freedom of greater flexibility

The growing need to produce cleaner, smarter and more efficient energy puts power producers in a complex and challenging position. They require flexible technology to effectively and profitably navigate a diverse energy landscape. GE is responding with a new standard that delivers immediate and long-term value.

At GE, we understand the significant impact renewable energy sources have had—and will continue to have—on the power generation industry. The environmental implications are exciting, but finding the right technological balance to ensure the viability of these abundant resources is a challenge that requires innovation.

Combining GE’s unique aviation technology and power generation expertise, GE’s broad range of flexible and efficient power generation solutions will help accelerate widespread deployment of renewables, like wind and solar, by balancing intermittency and relieving stress on the grid.

As demand grows, fossil fuel prices fluctuate, and more renewable energy sources are added to the grid, power plants will need to operate more often under cyclic operations. The new FlexEfficiency technologies deliver enhanced capabilities that allow utilities to ramp faster and more often, cycle on/off faster and more often, and provide more short-term reserves with high levels of efficiency while maintaining emissions guarantees.

Key Benefits of Flexible Operation

  • Reduced lifecycle costs resulting in efficient operation across a broad range of operating conditions including start-up and part load operation
  • Greater economical dispatch
  • Improved plant revenue with the ability to rapidly respond to and capture energy price spikes
  • Increased ancillary services revenue
  • Decreased risk through improved starting reliability
  • Ability to run at lower loads while maintaining emissions guarantees—consuming less fuel during periods when electricity prices are below the marginal cost of generation

Measuring Profitability

GE believes power producers, owners, and operators can generate electricity more cost effectively if they include flexibility and efficiency considerations in their evaluation models. It is more relevant to measure how profitable megawatt hours are produced, and then compare this to how much fuel is consumed throughout the duty cycle.

By evaluating the total annual fuel consumption across a highly variable operating profile, power producers will be capturing fuel costs based on the way the plant actually runs.