Carlton Power will employ three GE 9HA.01 gas turbines at its Trafford Power combined cycle plant and will deploy two more for the Thorpe Marsh CCGT project in the UK. Both Trafford Power and Thorpe Marsh will also include GE's latest steam turbine and generator technologies and are expected to reach efficiencies "approaching 61% based on site conditions" (which takes account of hybrid cooling towers at Trafford and an air-cooled condenser at Thorpe Marsh).
Carlton says "the two projects will be the first stations in the UK specifically designed with the flexibility and fast start up times required to support expanding intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar." They are the first projects in the UK to announce they are buying HA gas turbines, GE's recently introduced all-air-cooled H class machines.
IPP developer Carlton has appointed a consortium of General Electric International and two Spanish partners, Tecnicas Reunidas and Ferrovial Agroman, as EPC contractor for its consented Trafford Power project near Manchester "after a three-way competitive procurement process." In addition, Carlton Power has purchased GE's interest in the 1500 MW Thorpe Marsh gas-fired power station project, near Doncaster, which was consented in 2011. The initial developer was Thorpe Marsh Power, a 50:50 joint venture of GE and Acorn Power.
Carlton Power says it will bid both projects into the UK's first capacity market auction, scheduled for December 2014. While construction of the two projects remains subject to the outcome of the auction and project financing, the new power stations are expected to enter commercial operation in 2018/2019, says Carlton Power. "We hope to break ground at Trafford before May of next year and Thorpe Marsh soon after," said Keith Clarke, managing director of Carlton Power. "With the Energy Act now passed, and DECC's desire to see new independent players in the UK generation market, we have confidence in the Capacity Market arrangements and so, as long as there are no unexpected changes, we will bid both projects into the auction."
Mark Elborne, president and CEO of GE UK and Ireland said: "New investment in UK gas generation has been enabled by the capacity market, a part of the Energy Market Reform programme, and we look forward in continuing to support government initiatives that deliver investor certainty and unlock infrastructure investment."
In July, Carlton announced the appointment of Lloyds Bank's Alan White as its project finance director and in August appointed Macquarie Capital (with a recent track record of making its own investments in UK combined cycle generating capacity) to advise on raising debt and equity for the Trafford Power project.
Carlton has previously developed the Carrington power station in Greater Manchester, which it describes as "the only new independent power station to start construction in the UK since 2008". This is now wholly owned by ESBI and is being constructed by Alstom/Duro Felguera.
Trafford Power, which is adjacent to Carrington, was granted "Section 36" approval in April 2010 for a 1520 MW facility. In May 2014 Carlton requested approval to vary its existing consent on the Trafford project, "to accommodate recent advances in gas turbine technology and developments in the expected operating regime for the UK electricity market", increasing capacity from 1520 MW to 2060 MW.