SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- General Electric said Wednesday it had received $1.2 billion in orders for its new line of FlexEfficiency power-plant turbines.
The orders included major power projects in Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United States that will make use of natural gas and renewable energy sources.
GE executives told a news conference in San Francisco the FlexEfficiency 60 turbine had the ability to go on line and off line quicker than the current generation of turbines. That characteristic enables plant operators to alternate between gas and renewables such as solar and wind as weather conditions and power demand warrant.
Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power and Water, said in a written statement the FlexEfficiency 60 was a "milestone of our natural gas program."
Bolze and other energy experts at the news conference said the baseline price for gas in the foreseeable future made it competitive with coal. By having a gas turbine with a quicker ramp-up and ramp-down capability, power plants will be able to dispatch renewable electricity on to the grid easier and keep wind and solar as part of the mix.