The short answer is intermittency or the fact that these resources cannot produce consistent energy at all hours of the day. Integrating more renewable energy as baseload power is a positive change; however, when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining, it creates supply gaps for utilities. Installing peaking power as backup enables the continued adoption of renewable energy assets.
It is ideal for the energy transition. As the world retires coal-fired plants and installs more renewable generation, communities need to maintain safe, reliable energy production. Right now, the best solution is clean, efficient natural-gas-powered plants combined with state-of-the-art emission-reducing equipment, which helps to stabilize grids and decarbonize the environment at once.
Peakers are small, agile plants that provide power quickly when demand is high. More and more communities operate with a small—and narrowing—margin between power supply and demand. Peaking facilities can produce energy during extreme weather or when other power sources do not produce. They deliver power efficiently, sustainably, and at a fraction of the cost of any other alternative.
A supremely reliable power-generation machine. The technology of choice for all WattBridge installations is the LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine. It takes a large portion of a 747 engine—built to be among the most reliable machines on the planet—and alters it for use on the ground. Rather than providing thrust to lift an airplane into the sky, the engine output is harnessed to produce electricity. One engine can produce enough energy for 40,500 homes.
It is highly reliable and proven. This aeroderivative gas turbine has rendered >99% start and operational reliability and more than 98% availability in more than 40 million operating hours. The cornerstone of the WattBridge portfolio, the LM6000 creates a solid foundation for operational performance as demonstrated by our HO Clarke and Topaz Generating Stations, which have an average start reliability of 98%.
They represent the ultimate in efficiency and resilience. Decades of R&D and operational experience go into a single product with a standardized, modular design, which eliminates variability, accelerates installation, and reduces cost through economies of scale. What’s more, our plants feature innovations—such as our in-house-developed anti-icing solution—that enhance the reliability of the LM6000 platform beyond its impressive track record. Further, all WattBridge sites are built on premium locations with well-established gas infrastructure and have firm gas pipeline contracts.
Each WattBridge plant is built to meet or exceed any local or federal requirement. By displacing oil, gas steam, and coal, the WattBridge portfolio reduces carbon emissions in ERCOT by 268 kT/year, or 30 million gallons of gasoline annually. Our plants use technology that reduces nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide by 90%. In addition, these plants make no measurable noise impact to neighboring communities, conserve land use, and discharge zero polluted water. See the ESG Matters section for more.
Yes. Today, the LM6000 engine can reduce carbon emissions by blending up to 30% hydrogen fuel. For the future, WattBridge and our parent company, PROENERGY, are committed to an R&D plan toward the goal of 100% hydrogen operation. As this is a key research initiative, we have invested heavily in making it a reality and will leverage the unique capabilities of our string-test facility in Sedalia, Missouri, to assess the limits of hydrogen fuel mixes.
Visit the U.S. Energy Information Administration website to learn more about the American energy landscape.