Siemens Powers El Segundo Energy Center with Nation’s 2nd Flex-Plant

Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:22 am EDT


Barry Nicholls, Senior Vice President , Siemens Energy, Inc.

California, long the nation’s leader in reducing carbon emissions and harnessing alternative, clean energies, just took one more step towards a greener future.  Already home to the nation’s first “Flex Plant” in Lodi, the state, along with NRG Energy Inc. and Siemens Energy Inc., just commemorated the repowering and modernization of the El Segundo Energy Center, the second flex plant to open in California. 


With two SGT6-5000F gas turbines as its main drivers, the El Segundo Flex Plant can generate 300 megawatts (MW) of power in less than 10 minutes, allowing the plant to back up intermittent renewable power generation, such as wind and solar power, to maintain a steady, consistent and reliable supply of power to the grid.  


The El Segundo flex plant not only ramps up quickly, but it does so with a net efficiency of nearly 49 percent - much higher in efficiency than conventional simple-cycle power plant solutions in existence today. With a reduction of 95 percent of CO2 start-up emissions and very low water consumption, it is also environmentally friendly when compared to conventional combined-cycle technology. And, it's quiet, with unique sound mitigations, such as low noise fans, so that people on the beach hear surf and sea gulls, not a power plant.


Most power companies have plant designs that are like desktop computers,  with big boxes and screens and keyboards. They are talking about stepping out and building a lap top.  This plant .... is an iPad. It does everything you need in a small beautiful package, and everyone else is trying to copy it.  In addition to having a small environmental footprint, El Segundo was optimized for the site size constraints. This also supported parallel demolition and construction efforts that reduced the project schedule and cost.


The repowering of the El Segundo Energy Center is good news for the nearly 450,000 residents of Southern California who will receive a reliable energy supply even if the wind isn’t blowing or on a cloudy day.


And since Washington is signaling that states will soon be required to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and transition to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, flex plants are the wave of the future. 



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