Construction has begun on a 775 MW power plant in western Riverside County, California built around the 60 Hz GE H system.

Scheduled to enter operation in 2008, the project will be the first such development in North America. Powered by two GE 107H Systems operating on natural gas, the Inland Empire Energy Center is the first capable of achieving 60% thermal efficiency.

GE acquired the site and related development rights for the project from Calpine Corporation and will finance, own and operate the plant. Calpine Power Services will manage plant construction, and Calpine Energy Services will market the plant’s output and manage fuel requirements under a long-term marketing arrangement with GE. Following an extended period of GE ownership, Calpine expects to purchase the plant and become its sole owner and operator, with GE continuing to provide critical plant maintenance services under a long-term agreement with Calpine.

“We are extremely pleased to be installing our first 60-hertz H System in California, where there is a tremendous need for additional capacity of highly reliable electricity,” said William Cooney, general manager of GE Energy’s Thermal Product Line.