A2A, the largest Italian multi-utility company, needed to modernize their Chivasso power plants to become more responsive to changing grid demands and to boost productivity in a competitive market. To reopen the plant, A2A would need compelling improvements to efficiency and have a lower impact on the environment. Achieving the lowest emissions compliant load level was a critical success factor in order for A2A to compete successfully in the ancillary services market space — particularly in their location.
Working closely with A2A traders, engineers, and production team, GE needed to prove the Chivasso plant could be improved to succeed in a competitive market. The team began by installing GE’s OpFlex software to nine 9FA gas turbines at four combined-cycle power plants in Lombardia in northern Italy, and , at the Chivasso plant, GE upgraded two 9FA gas turbines with OpFlex Dry Low NOx 2.6+ combustion technology. GE’s Operations Optimization solution was applied to gather machine sensor data, apply analytics and help A2A plant management understand how to engage the OpFlex controls software to better react to market conditions, lower operating costs and reduce the plant’s environmental footprint.
A2A now has the necessary visibility and operational flexibility to bring the plant online effectively and economically, responding to dynamic market conditions. GE’s solution helped achieve a 65MW per GT minimum load level — the best in the GE 9FA fleet. The OpFlex Fast Ramp solution enabled load ramping at up to ±50 MW/min, 2.5 times the normal rate, permitting A2A to react quickly to market demands. A2A’s power block is now producing hundreds of hours of electricity since coming back online in November 2015 and is able to be competitive in their market. By increasing plant responsiveness, A2A is better able to meet fast- changing grid demands.