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Press Release

Sky Global One Power Plant in Texas Opens, Featuring First of GE's 60-Hertz J920 FleXtra Gas Engines in the US

April 26, 2016
  • The Sky Global Power One Power Plant Provides One Solution to Help Solve Texas’ Energy Challenges
  • Due to Increasing Installed Base of Renewable Power in ERCOT Region, Plant Must Provide High Flexibility to Offset Volatility of Wind and Solar and Ensure Grid Stability
  • Six-Unit Order Represents Largest North American Power Project for GE’s 60-Hertz J920 FleXtra Gas Engine Technology 

ROCK ISLAND, TEXAS-April 26, 2016-GE (NYSE: GE) today announced the opening of Sky Global Partners, LLC’s “Sky Global Power One” power plant, which features six of GE’s Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines-representing the first six 60-hertz, 8.6-megawatt (MW) units to be in commercial operation in the United States. The plant is located in Colorado County, Texas, and will supply peaking power to meet the power demands of the 18,000 members of San Bernard Electric Cooperative (SBEC) in an eight-county region of south Central Texas.

GE provided six of its 60-hertz, Ecomagination qualified, 8.6-megawatt (MW) J920 FleXtra ultra-fast response, natural gas-fired engine generator sets for the 51-MW Sky Global Power One project, including a multiyear service agreement to increase asset availability. The plant will use no more water than a single residence. Sky Global Partners will sell peaking power generation to the San Bernard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SBEC), which supplies electricity to more than 18,000 members. This partnership between Sky Global Partners and SBEC allows SBEC to participate in the value of the project through its investment in the purchased power over time.

“This project is a testament to our strong relationship with Sky Global Partners. The plant will not only serve the electrical needs of our membership when needed, but it also will be a merchant plant for others when not serving our needs,” said Billy Marricle, president and general manager of San Bernard. “This is a significant part of our power strategy going forward and provides us with protection from electricity exchange price spikes and the opportunity to increase the value of our cooperative.”

Due to the increasing installed base of renewable power generation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region and the intermittent nature of these energy sources, the power plant must be able to provide a very high degree of flexibility within a short period to offset the volatility of the wind and solar resources, thus ensuring grid stability.

While GE supplied the core equipment consisting of six engines and the exhaust emission reduction systems, Sky Global Partners contracted with Haskell to design and construct the overall power plant. Sky Global Partners is the managing partner. SBEC’s participation in the project includes not only purchasing power, but also active participation in the management of the power plant. The financial collaborators for the plant are Sky Global Partners, Prudential Capital Group and The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company.

“For over a decade, Sky Global had been seeking a means to improve the value of power supply for the public power sector in Texas. This project is the first to achieve that vision, which is largely due to the combined efforts of GE’s technology, Haskell’s execution, Prudential Capital Group’s unique financing structure and the strategy of SBEC’s leadership,” said Frank Rotondi, president and CEO of Sky Global Partners.

Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state, accounting for more than one-tenth of total U.S. energy use. Contributing factors include its large and growing population, extreme summer temperatures and extensive industrial/manufacturing sector. When compared to the rest of the country, Texas has a higher concentration of energy-intensive industries such as aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass and petroleum refining.

“Currently, more than one in six people in the world lack access to electricity, and one in three can’t depend on the sources they have[1]. Countries like the U.S. that have reliable access face big challenges as they look to upgrade aging infrastructure while making economic, environmental and efficiency improvements. Reliable and flexible power is key to economic success,” said Heiner Markhoff, president & CEO for GE Water & Distributed Power at GE Power. “As Texas continues to grow, it must invest in more power generation to ensure a reliable and affordable supply during peak power, and the Sky Global Power One project is one solution to help solve Texas’ energy needs. The best-in-class electrical efficiency of GE’s Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines adds up to big savings in fuel over the life cycle of a plant.”

About San Bernard Electric Cooperative, Inc.

San Bernard Electric Cooperative, Inc. began in 1939, when several leaders from Austin and Colorado Counties became interested in securing service for their farms. As a result of their efforts, the cooperative was incorporated in November of 1939. The cooperative derived its name from the San Bernard River, which is the common boundary between Austin and Colorado Counties.  The first 89 miles of power lines were built in 1940 and energized on December 31st, 1940. They served 141 members in the rural areas of Colorado and Austin Counties. Currently the Cooperative has approximately 3,900 miles of line serving approximately 25,000 meters in eight Texas counties - Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Harris, Lavaca, Montgomery and Waller.

About Sky Global Partners, LLC

Sky Global Partners, LLC (Sky Global) is an independent power producer founded in 2007 with a fresh approach to serve evolving energy markets today. As leaders in the power generation industry, our mission is to design, build, finance, own and operate customized special purpose electric generation for Municipal Utilities, Rural Electric Cooperatives, Oil & Gas Producers, and Large Industry throughout the United States.

Sky Global Partners, LLC was founded in 2007 by a group of individuals with over 4,000 MW of completed independent power development, financing and operational experience. The members of the management team have built and operated power plants and other energy supply sources, managed all aspects of electric generation development and presided over multibillion-dollar energy commodities trading and marketing businesses. 

About GE’s Distributed Power business

GE’s Distributed Power business is a leading provider of engines, power equipment and services focused on power generation and gas compression at or near the point of use. Distributed Power offers a diverse product portfolio that includes highly efficient, fuel-flexible, industrial gas engines generating 200 kW to 10 MW each of power for numerous industries globally. In addition, the business provides life cycle support for more than 36,000 gas engines worldwide to help you meet your business challenges and success metrics-anywhere and anytime. Backed by our authorized service providers in more than 170 countries, GE‘s global service network connects with you locally for rapid response to your service needs. GE’s Distributed Power business is headquartered in Jenbach, Austria.

About GE Power

GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.

For more information, visit the company's website at Follow GE Power on Twitter @GE_Power and on LinkedIn at GE Power.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

Susanne Reichelt
GE Power
[email protected]
+43 5244 600 2382

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