GE's Power Generation Services recently signed a multiyear services agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to upgrade the utility's Mountainview Generating Facility, a 1,054-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power plant in Redlands, California.

The upgrade project will reduce the facility's startup times, lower its emissions without using additional water and help to balance the growing role of renewables on the grid.

"Our Mountainview station will be much more flexible, enabling it to more quickly respond to the needs of the California ISO system that is highly penetrated with solar power and other renewable sources," said Stuart R. Hemphill, senior vice president at Southern California Edison. "GE's solution also gives us a more efficient plant, creating greater value and savings for our customers."

GE's technologies will boost the station's output, increase its efficiency and offer longer intervals between maintenance outages. By boosting Mountainview's flexibility, the project will help SCE protect the grid from the intermittency of the state's rapidly expanding renewable energy supplies while strengthening the facility's competitive position in California.

"We are excited to support SCE's upgrades to the Mountainview Generating Facility," said Paul McElhinney, president and CEO of GE's Power Generation Services. "This agreement underscores their confidence in our generation and combustion technologies and capabilities to execute an extremely complex project while increasing plant availability."

SCE's Mountainview Generating Facility features four 7FA.03 units, two D-11 steam turbines and associated generators in combined cycle. As part of the new extended service agreement with SCE to upgrade the site's generating equipment, GE will supply six Advanced Gas Path (AGP) sets, six sets of its Dry Low NOx 2.6+ (DLN2.6+) combustion system and four new unit rotors. GE also is providing extended steam turbine coverage along with premium generator coverage.

The Mountainview upgrade project reflects a broader commitment by SCE and other California utilities to curtail their water consumption to help the state battle chronic drought conditions. The DLN2.6+ combustion system will enable SCE to further reduce the Mountainview plant's emissions without the need for using additional water in the process. Moreover, using GE's technology, SCE can reduce both water consumption and emissions, helping them comply with tightening environmental regulations while also reducing their operating expenses.

GE is scheduled to begin installing its technology solutions at the Mountainview Generating Facility in 2016 and complete the project by May 2017.

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