Press Release

EnergyAustralia Modernizes Tallawarra A Power Plant to Support Energy Transition in Australia

  • Tallawarra A Power Plant Project marks the First HE Upgrade for the GT26 gas turbine ordered in Australia
  • GE’s technology is expected to increase performance of the existing GT26 gas turbine aiming to add nearly 40 megawatts (MW) of power, supporting the expected energy demand following the closure of the coal fired 1,680-megawatt Liddell plant in the Hunter Valley region
  • The project aims to accelerate the energy transition in Australia using gas that can be further decarbonized by using hydrogen and hydrogen-blended fuels in the future

Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia, March 7, 2023 — GE (NYSE: GE) today announced a new order for its first High-Efficiency (HE) upgrade for the GT26 fleet to be selected in Australia. In 2024, GE will modernize EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra A power plant, powered by a GT26 gas turbine installed nearly thirteen years ago, with the HE upgrade, a proven solution that was first introduced for the GT26 gas turbine in 2019. This solution aims to provide the Tallawarra A power plant, located in Yallah on the western shore of Lake Illawarra in the state of New South Wales (NSW), with a leap forward in efficiency and output, supporting the expected energy demand following the closure of the coal fired 1,680-megawatt Liddell plant in the Hunter Valley region.

NSW requires fast-start gas-fired generation to support renewables growth as coal plants phase out of operations. Before the Tallawarra gas-fired power station commenced operations in January 2009, the site was a 320MW coal-fired power station which operated between 1954 and 1989.  Now, it is a combined cycle station with fast-start capability, which produces less carbon emissions than conventional coal-fired power stations. The gas-fired power station’s generation capacity is 440 MW – which is the equivalent power to supply up to 200,000 Australian homes.

“We recognize the value of constantly evolving technology. With this innovative upgrade, Tallawarra A will benefit from improved efficiency and reduce carbon emitted per MWh, in line with our goals to accelerate the clean energy transition” said Michael Heazlewood EnergyAustralia project leader for the HE Upgrade. “EnergyAustralia has a great relationship with GE. We are working with GE to construct the adjacent Tallawarra B plant that will operate as Australia’s first peaking plant capable of using a blend of natural gas and hydrogen in its operations. In the future, we envisage the modernized asset powering Tallawarra A may also leverage the infrastructure and hydrogen supply powering the Tallawarra B plant and be able to operate on blends of hydrogen and natural gas as we transition to a lower-carbon energy future.”

GE’s HE upgrade for the GT26 blends cutting-edge technology from GE’s industry-leading F and H class fleets with additive manufactured parts and innovations in aerodynamics, material science and combustion dynamics. The significant performance improvement that the HE solution delivers is attributable to technology breakthroughs across every major component of the GT26 frame – turbine, compressor and combustor, that will help decrease fuel costs while increasing full-load output and extend maintenance intervals.  In addition, Tallawarra A power plant maintenance intervals will be extended to 32000 weighted operating hours which translates to up to 44000 equivalent operating hours for a typical daily start and stop operating profile, among the longest interval in the industry for this platform.

“We are proud to be building on the strength of our long-standing relationship with EnergyAustralia, to improve and modernize assets to support the energy transition in the country,” said Ramesh Singaram, President and CEO of GE Gas Power in Asia. “The upgrade, GE’s first order for the HE in Australia, will help produce more power, while reducing CO2 emissions per MW. We are excited by the expected additional efficiency and dispatchable power that this solution will provide to support the growth of intermittent renewables in the country.”

The upgrade is expected to be operational by mid-2024.

GE has been present in Australia for more than 25 years. GE is committed to supporting Australia achieve its renewable energy goals while maintaining reliable and affordable electricity supply to businesses and households across the country. In Australia GE has more than 140 gas turbines in operation helping to address demanding local requirements with fast start-up, lower total cost of ownership, increased flexibility and a reduced environmental footprint. Existing and future gas power plants can be decarbonized by using hydrogen as a fuel. GE is bringing world-leading technology to Australia with Tallawarra B on the NSW south coast, Australia’s first blended-fuel capable natural gas/ hydrogen power plant. GE gas turbines have been running for decades on hydrogen bases and GE is on a pathway towards 100 percent hydrogen capability over the next decade.

About GE Gas Power
GE Gas Power is a world leader in natural gas power technology, services, and solutions. Through relentless innovation and continuous collaboration with our customers, we are providing more advanced, cleaner and efficient power that people depend on today and building the energy technologies of the future. With the world’s largest installed base of gas turbines and more than 670 million operating hours across GE’s installed fleet, we offer advanced technology and a level of experience that’s unmatched in the industry to build, operate, and maintain leading gas power plants. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.gepower.com. Follow GE Power on Twitter @GE_Power and on LinkedIn at GE Power.

GE Gas Power is part of GE Vernova, a dynamic accelerator comprised of our Power, Renewable Energy, Digital and Energy Financial Services businesses, focused on supporting customers’ transformations during the global energy transition.