General Electric (GE) said it will supply its H-Class turbine technology for the expansion of a natural gas-fired power plant in Brazil, part of that country’s strategy to add baseload generation to the nation’s power grid to support the integration of renewable energy. It is GE’s second order for turbine technology at the site in the past six months.
GE on April 13 said its 7HA.02 gas turbine, along with other GE-sourced equipment, will be used to operate Eneva’s Azulão II Reserve Power Plant, adding up to 590 MW of power generation capacity. Brazilian officials have said more than 75% of the country’s electricity is produced by renewable energy, primarily from hydropower, which supplies nearly two-thirds of Brazil’s generation. The government wants more gas-fired power to support intermittent production of renewables.
Eneva, one of Brazil’s largest suppliers of electricity and natural gas, and GE have a long-established relationship. More than a half-dozen GE 7F gas turbines have been operating at Eneva’s power plants in Maranhão, Brazil for the past decade. The deal announced Thursday comes after Eneva in October 2022 began construction of the first reserve power plant at the Azulão site, which also will use a 7HA.02 gas turbine. That facility is expected to enter commercial operation by 2026, with the unit announced Thursday coming online the following year.
“GE’s highly efficient, reliable and advanced H-class combined cycle plant can provide the needed flexible power to support Eneva’s isolated natural gas production operations and Brazil’s renewable-rich grid, utilizing these valuable natural resources to provide lower-emissions electricity to Brazilian homes and businesses across the country,” said Dave Ross, president and CEO for GE Gas Power in the Americas. “This project marks the second GE 7HA.02 gas turbine for Eneva’s Azulão power plant and we’re honored that Eneva has once again selected GE’s highly efficient and flexible technology for Eneva’s power generation complex. The new plant will help significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Eneva’s power generation portfolio as this new capacity becomes operational and coal power plants are phased out by 2040.”
Growth in Renewable Energy
Brazilian officials have said installed capacity of renewable power generation in the country is expected to grow 17% over the next decade, from today’s 159 GW to 186 GW in 2032. Brazil wants to cut carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions from its power sector by 2050.
Officials have said the country’s current grid infrastructure needs more stable supplies of electricity, which can be provided by gas-fired generation. The country also is looking to further reduce carbon emissions by using hydrogen fuels in its gas turbines, and is exploring carbon capture technologies.
The Azulão II plant will feature other GE equipment including an STF-A650 steam turbine, H65 and an H53 generators, and a triple pressure reheat Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG).
GE on Thursday said the addition of the HRSG and steam turbine/generator will increase the Eneva Azulão II plant’s energy efficiency by diverting thermal energy from being released to the atmosphere to power the steam turbine, which can support generation of up to an additional 230 MW.
GE equipment also is powering the 1,500-MW Port de Sergipe thermal plant in Brazil, which entered commercial operation in 2021 and was acquired by Eneva in 2022. The plant, built, operated, and maintained by GE, features three 7HA.02 gas turbines powering three H65 generators, an STF-D650 steam turbine powering a 60WT23E-110 generator, and triple pressure reheat HRSGs. Port de Sergipe is one of the largest gas-fired power plants in Latin America.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).