GE has been awarded a contract by power generation company Drax Group to upgrade the 420MW Shoreham power station near Brighton, UK, with the GT26 high efficiency (HE) gas turbine.

Under the contract, GE will also provide digital solutions and plant improvement services to help increase the plant’s flexibility.

Drax generation CEO Andy Koss said: “GE’s GT26 HE gas turbine upgrade could provide a significant efficiency increase, more flexibility and greater power output from Shoreham Power Station.

“These are critical attributes, which complement the roll out of renewables in the U.K. and can help to ensure a stable power supply whatever the weather.

“In addition, our fleet would reap the benefits of GE’s digital solutions to help us react more quickly to marketplace conditions while reducing our operating costs and improving the plant’s carbon footprint.”

GE said that the upgrade would increase the power plant’s combined-cycle efficiency by about 2.5% and add more than 40MW of baseload power.

GE to implement gas turbine upgrade at Shoreham plant in 2021

The company plans to commence enablement inspection for the project in 2019 and implement gas turbine upgrade in 2021.

GE’s Power Services business H/F-Class turbines general manager Amit Kulkarni said: “Our new HE product is the most advanced solution we’ve ever introduced on a GT26 gas turbine, and it provides significant performance improvements for an F-class combined-cycle gas turbine upgrade.

“Not only will this upgrade help Drax improve its efficiency and output, but it will also improve its competitive position in the U.K. energy marketplace.

“The power increase will be rewarded in the event of a successful bid in the U.K.’s capacity auction, and the lifetime improvement will reduce maintenance costs.”

GE said it will implement hardware and digital solutions to help improve the performance of the power plant and assist Drax in making smarter operational decisions at the facility.

Earlier this year, Drax Group acquired the 2.56GW power generation portfolio, including the Shoreham power station, from ScottishPower for £702m in cash.