The energy transition, the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems of energy production and consumption to renewable energy sources, is accelerating worldwide. Worldwide, the aim is on reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions through various methods of decarbonization.
Our customers face several challenges when connecting renewables to the grid -- such as balancing generation and demand, improving grid resilience and energy efficiency, as well as the need to reduce their environmental footprint.
An example of GE’s Grid Services team supporting its customers during their transformation journey is the contract awarded by ENGIE Electrabel, the first renewable energy producer in Belgium, in April 2021. The contract’s scope focuses on the modernization of ENGIE’s Coo – Trois-Ponts pumped-storage plant, to make it more efficient and ultimately increase the plant’s power capacity by 7.5%.
Coo has been an essential part of the Belgian energy landscape for 50 years. Thanks to this 7.5% increase, the power plant will play an even more prominent role in the country’s energy transition in the coming decades. By the beginning of 2025, the capacity of the power plant will increase from 1,080 MW to 1,159 MW (+ 79 MW), while the storage volume will increase from 6,000 MWh to 6,450 MWh (+ 450 MWh).
The planned expansion of the storage volume and capacity of Coo will make a significant contribution to the country's flexibility objectives. This flexibility is necessary for the further integration of intermittent renewable energy sources. With this investment, ENGIE is taking an important step toward supporting Belgium in the energy transition and confirming its role as a pioneer in the transition to a carbon neutral future.
Modernizing our customer’s substation in Belgium
Grid Services will deliver a turnkey solution – a three-pronged approach - to replace key equipment of the evacuation substation, with a continued focus on reducing the customer’s environmental footprint:
- 1- Modernization - The ageing equipment will be replaced with 257 MVA 400 kV step-up power transformers and high voltage disconnectors, avoiding the need to build an entirely new substation. These GE power transformers are designed to exactly fit in the same existing space but with higher performance than the prior equipment, thereby reducing the civil works required.
- 2 - Recycling – GE team will dismantle three 40-year-old power transformers manufactured by a third-party OEM and recycle some of the raw material such as copper, thereby reducing raw material production. The customer will be reimbursed the equivalent monetary value.
- 3 - Transport - Power transformers will be transported from Turkey to Belgium mainly by sea as well as by river barge, to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
The GE solution enables the plant operator to increase the capacity to generate and transmit renewable power as well as reduces the site’s environmental footprint resulting from the reduction of C02 emissions.
GE’s Grid Solutions teams around the globe are ready to help our customers on their transformation journey during the exciting era of the energy transition, in terms of modernizing their equipment—providing customers with the hardware, digital solutions and services required to deliver affordable, sustainable, and reliable electricity, as well as innovative solutions that can help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.