GE has secured a contract from UCED Group, the energy division of Czech investment group CREDITAS to supply an LM6000 PC Sprint aeroderivative gas turbine to expand UCED Prostějov reserve power plant, help stabilise the grid and support renewables growth in the Czech Republic.
GE’s equipment is planned to be delivered to the site in early 2024 and, once in operation, the unit is going to add approximately 50 megawatts (MW) to the national power transmission system. This project supports the Czech government’s main target to diversify energy sources by increasing gas and renewables and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005.
With a significant presence of energy-intensive industries in the Czech economy, the country’s emissions intensity is significantly higher than the EU average, but it could reduce emissions by 2030 primarily by curtailing its dependence on coal.
“The expansion of the Prostějov power plant with a GE’s LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine supports the Czech government’s main target to diversify energy sources and is another step in our path forward on our strategy to become a leader in the energy sector,” said Richard Holešinský, Investment Director at UCED. “We are committed to becoming a leader in the new reserve power segment: we selected GE’s aero technology for its fast installation, small footprint, and its operating flexibility.”
A quick start up time –as little as less than five minutes – is crucial to ensure the stability and reliability of the grid challenged by variable energy sources, such as renewables and will allow UCED to differentiate their dispatch capability. In addition, the gas turbine currently has greater than 40 per cent hydrogen capability with GE’s target to reach 100 per cent in the near future leading to the possibility of a lower-emitting footprint for the plant.
“As the country’s only domestically produced fossil fuel, coal has been and still is a key energy source in the Czech Republic and I am passionate about collaborating with our customers, like UCED, to support the energy transition in the country,” said Joseph Anis, President & CEO, Europe, Middle East & Africa, GE Gas Power. “This plant plays a significant role in supporting the diversification of energy sources. It will be key to supply lower-carbon intensity and flexible generation capacity to the grid that will provide more reliable electric power service to Czech industries and citizens.”
UCED plans to add and integrate further power blocks creating a 1,000 MW power complex in the Czech Republic by 2030, with an expected investment of over 20 billion Koruna (approximately 857 million euros). The Prostějov power plant will be part of UCED “virtual power plant” consisting of several decentralised, interconnected sources that are controlled by one central control room. The main energy source will be gas, whether it will be natural gas, biogas, or gas blended with hydrogen. The complex will also include solar parks, wind farms and thermal and biomass plants.