GE has launched a new business, Distributed Power, combining three existing product lines, aeroderivative gas turbines, Jenbacher gas engines (acquired in 2003) and Waukesha reciprocating engines (acquired via the purchase of Dresser, which was completed in 2011).
GE also announced an investment of $1.4 billion over the next four years in the new business, the president and CEO of which is Lorraine Bolsinger. At the launch press conference in Jakarta on 25 February she explained that the bulk of the investment would go towards "refreshing" the LM6000 gas turbine offering, while other priority areas would be further development of the two-stage-turbocharged J920 gas engine (8.5-10 MW but capable of 48.7% efficiency), launch of a new 1.5 MW high speed diesel engine (scheduled to be available early 2016), enhancement of dual fuel (gas and diesel) capabilities, and improved maintenance concepts (including mining of data from the existing fleet).
A GE white paper released during the event, The Rise of Distributed Power, notes that distributed power (meaning generating units of less than about 100 MW, typically less than 50 MW) has become increasingly popular in countries that are seeking more reliable, efficient energy options near the point of use -- on or off the grid. The report suggests that annual distributed power capacity additions will grow from 142 GW in 2012 (about 39% of the total) to 200 GW in 2020 and estimates that distributed power will grow 40% faster than global electricity demand between now and 2020.
GE also announced a number of distributed-generation-related agreements during the launch event in Indonesia (with its 17000 islands a promising market for distributed generation). These included:
- Two MOU with Clean Power Indonesia and PLN for the development and deployment of integrated biomass gasification technology in Indonesia, using local bamboo and wood as fuel sources.
- Agreements with Navigat Energy Pte Ltd to provide 100 new Jenbacher gas engines (total installed capacity 330 MW) for deployment at independent power production sites in Indonesia and Thailand.
- A separate 10-year material stream agreement with Navigat under which it will provide preventive maintenance for the installed fleet of about 100 J620 gas engines in on-site power projects in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
- An MOU for GE to supply Navigat with two J920 engines.
- A contract for GE to provide four Waukesha 12V275GL+ gas engines and two VGF48GL units to help upgrade Pertamina's Lembak gas compression station facility near Palembang City.
- An agreement between GE and Malaysian company Green & Smart Sdn Bhd (GNS) to develop waste-to-power systems using GNS plus GE technology combining anaerobic digesters with Jenbacher gas engines. And
- GE Oil & Gas, GE Distributed Power and PLN Enjiniring to develop an integrated "virtual pipeline" power generation pilot project in remote islands of Indonesia. The project will combine systems from GE Oil & Gas for compression/liquefaction, transport, storage and regasification of natural gas at small scale (requiring no pipeline infrastructure) with gas turbine and recip engines from GE Distributed Power.