New Colorado Gas-Fired Plant Will Feature GE Vernova Power Units

A new natural gas-fired peaker plant being built on Colorado’s eastern plains will feature aeroderivative gas power packages from GE Vernova.

The Mountain Peak Power Plant, which will be managed and operated by Princeton, New Jersey-based Kindle Energy, and will serve the United Power electric cooperative, is expected to come online in 2025. GE Vernova’s Gas Power and Financial Services division on Feb. 29 said the 162-MW facility will include a half-dozen of the company’s LM2500XPRESS units, a modular technology designed for fast starts to quickly provide electricity during periods of peak demand.

The Mountain Peak plant will be located in Keenesburg, in Weld County, just more than 40 miles northeast of Denver. Weld County for decades has been the center of Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry.

Kindle Energy Portfolio

Kindle Energy has a portfolio of power generation assets operating in four states—New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and Indiana—and also is developing the 700-MW advanced combined cycle Magnolia plant in Louisiana. Kindle has said the Magnolia facility will be capable of burning up to 50% hydrogen on its first day of operation, expected next year.

United Power, headquartered in Brighton, Colorado, provides much of its electricity to the oil and gas industry. The company’s service territory covers 900 square miles, serves more than 106,000 meters, and includes customers in 17 communities on the state’s Front Range.

GE Vernova has said the LM2500XPRESS can be 95% assembled in the factory. The unit comes pre-packaged in 10 simplified modules and features 27 electrical interconnects, compared to 130-plus for a traditional plant, as well as minimal mechanical interconnects. Module systems flushing is completed at the factory. The company said the unit can start in as few as five minutes, and can be installed in as little as two weeks. Source: GE Vernova

“In a region with an increasing power demand due to planned coal-fired plant retirements and increased renewable energy generation, a mix of flexible and efficient energy sources will be necessary to achieve the carbon emissions goals of Colorado, while ensuring the reliability of power supply,” said Lee Davis, CEO of Kindle Energy. “We trust in GE Vernova’s technical and financial solutions to help our Mountain Peak Power plant support the intermittent growing power generation supply from nearby wind farms and solar fields in northeast Colorado and helps us to successfully tackle the challenges of the energy transition.”

Davis added, “We are excited to collaborate with GE Vernova again to deliver energy transition solutions in Colorado, as well as the most recent Magnolia Power Plant, powered by GE Vernova’s hydrogen-ready H-Class gas turbines, expected to boost a lower-carbon future in Louisiana.”

Coal, Gas, Renewables

Colorado continues to receive about one-third of its electricity from coal-fired generation, though plans are in place to retire the state’s half-dozen remaining coal-burning power plants no later than 2031. Colorado, with Xcel Energy as its largest electricity provider, is building more renewable energy generation from both solar and wind farms. The U.S. Energy Information Administration in November 2023 said renewables provide about 36% of the state’s power, with gas-fired units responsible for generating just more than 30% of the state’s electricity.

GE Vernova’s LM2500XPRESS power packages are capable of starting in as few as five minutes. Each of the packages includes an LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine, a distributed control system, and a Dry Low Emissions (DLE) combustion system. The DLE system is able to reduce emissions without the use of water, an important consideration on Colorado’s eastern plains, which are prone to drought conditions. GE Vernova said the power units are derived from the aviation industry and “can perform multiple daily starts and stops.”

The LM2500XPRESS units for the project will be assembled at GE Vernova’s Gas Power Manufacturing Excellence Center in Veresegyhaz, Hungary. They are scheduled for commissioning within a few weeks after delivery to the site.

“GE Vernova is thrilled to bring fast-start peaking power to Kindle Energy and help them support the energy transition in Colorado. In less than 18 months from order, this project is scheduled to supply reliable power to homes and businesses of northeastern Colorado,” said Dave Ross, president and CEO for GE Vernova’s Gas Power business in the Americas. “This project, built upon the synergies of our Gas Power and Financial Services businesses, marks our second dispatchable peaking project in the state being built to support the increase in renewable energy sources, and load growth as the state continues to shift to lower carbon-emitting energy sources, in line with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard goals.”

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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