GE Energy has announced that its first commercial H System gas turbine has achieved first firing at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Futtsu thermal power plant in Japan. The company has hailed the milestone as a key step in the development of the H System.

The Futtsu power plant will feature three H System combined cycle units, each consisting of GE Energy’s 9H gas turbine and a steam turbine and generator provided by Toshiba. The H System is the power industry’s first combined cycle system capable of achieving 60 per cent thermal efficiency.

Tepco’s three H System blocks will enter commercial operation between 2008 and 2010 with a total output of 1520 MW. The first H System entered operation in 2003 at a demonstration project in Baglan Bay, South Wales. The first 60 Hz project will be located at the Inland Empire Energy Center in California, and is scheduled to start operating in 2008.