Breaking the Power Plant Efficiency Record

GE & EDF unveil a game-changer at Bouchain

A 62.22% efficiency rating for a combined-cycle power plant has never been achieved before…until now. GE, with the partnership of EDF, just made history and set a Guinness World Records™ title for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant (achieved 28 April 2016) in Bouchain, France. The Bouchain plant - which officially began operation on June 17 - is also the world’s first combined-cycle plant equipped with GE’s HA turbine.

This latest achievement caps off a 45-year partnership between GE and EDF. Since the 1970s, GE has supplied EDF with close to 120 combustion turbines for its global network of thermal power plants. “By commissioning this new generation thermal plant, EDF demonstrates its intent to apply the best available technologies on the market to make its French thermal power plants more energy efficient while supporting the energy transition.” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of EDF.

Did you know?

It normally takes 10 years of development to raise power plant efficiency levels by 1%.

In addition powering Bouchain at record-setting efficiency levels, the HA gas turbine delivers enhanced flexibility, and is capable of reaching full power in less than 30 minutes. This allows partners to respond quickly to grid demand fluctuations, integrating renewables as necessary—supporting the COP21 agreement and its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Bouchain’s CO2 emissions are approximately 55% less than a standard thermal power plant.  

The world's most efficient combined cycle power plant
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Breaking Ground:
Ushering in a new era
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But how does a record-setting power plant efficiency percentage happen? With the help of GE’s Digital Power Plant capabilities, which helped to unlock power at Bouchain that had previously been inaccessible. Capabilities, including the digital control system, use real-time data to deliver better plant outcomes with stable and efficient operations, while providing valuable predictive insights for higher reliability and optimization.

And the numbers speak for themselves. With the capacity to generate over 605 MW, the Bouchain plant will generate the equivalent power needed to supply 680,000 homes.  Additionally, the HA compressor boasts an airflow that could inflate the Goodyear blimp in 10 seconds, and the tip of the 9HA.01’s last blade clocks a speed of 1200 mph/1931 kph –1.5 times the speed of sound.

“Today is an important milestone in our industry, one that would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the many GE and EDF employees across the world who are committed to a future of increased energy efficiency,” said Joe Mastrangelo, president and CEO of Gas Power Systems for GE Power. “By tapping into the broader GE Store, we are able to collaborate on these initiatives and bring together the right hardware and software tools, as well as people to deliver these results.”  

Want to learn even more about Bouchain? Check out GE Reports and get a deeper dive into the science and strategy behind this new world record.

Related Products 

9HA Heavy-Duty Gas Turbine

The world’s largest and most efficient heavy-duty gas turbine is now part of the world’s most efficient power plant.

Learn more about the 9HA  

A New Era


“This first HA turbine in Bouchain is a beacon for what is to come – better power, enhanced with the best digital industrial capabilities that will ultimately find its way across borders, deserts and oceans to nations across the globe.”

Read more from GE Power CEO Steve Bolze’s LinkedIn blog on Bouchain.

To learn more about GE's new world record, access the Press Kit.