Sky Global One 50 MW Gas Power Plant supports grid stability during historical winter storm in Texas
Six Jenbacher gas engines ran in grid parallel mode, to support San Bernard’s distribution system
ROCK ISLAND, TEXAS—March 23, 2021—
In February, as a result of one of the worst winter storms in more than 90 years, Texas faced rolling blackouts leaving millions of homes without access to electricity. As the majority of heating needs are met in Texas via electrical baseboard or heat pumps in the southern regions, the arctic temperatures led to an increase in the demand for electricity outpacing even peak summer heat-wave levels.
In helping meet peak power demand, the Sky Global Power One power plant was brought online during the power interruption on the transmission level supply lines. Additionally, the gas power plant ran continuously from Sunday, February 14, 2021 through Thursday, February 18, 2021, enabling San Bernard’s members to ride through a grid outage event.
“As the population across the San Bernard service area continues to grow, secure power supply has become increasingly important,” said Billy Marricle, General Manager for San Bernard Electric Cooperative. “The Sky Global Power Plant helped to secure grid stability and keep the lights and heaters operating for approximately 20,000 homes in Colorado County during the historic winter storm this past February.”
At the heart of the plant are six of INNIO’s Jenbacher 8.6 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired generator sets. The 51 MW Sky Global Power One plant is located in Colorado County, Texas and supplies peaking electricity for the San Bernard Electric Cooperative (SBEC) in an eight-county region of South-Central Texas.
“The Jenbacher technology allowed us to quick-start the power plant in less than 5 minutes to support grid stability and supply 51 MW to San Bernard’s members. This helped to provide secure and reliable power to approximately 20.000 homes in the San Bernard region,” said Frank Rotondi, president and CEO of Sky Global Partners. “As a consequence, the power plant also helped to heat the homes via electrical baseboard or heat pumps.”
With the continuous expansion of renewable energies, the demands on energy supply networks are also increasing in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region. With 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.
Not only does the Sky Global One power plant provide emergency power during power shortage, the plant, also, provides peaking power year-round to the San Bernard Electric Cooperative. The power plant is 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 during power peaks and supporting the power needs of the members of San Bernard.
"Decentralized energy supply based on gas power plants plays an integral part in securing the power supply for the coming decades while making power generation more sustainable," explains Carlos Lange, President and CEO of INNIO. "In the short and medium term, gas-fired power plants will continue to be powered by natural gas. In the longer term, however, I expect these power plants to run on climate neutral fuels, for example, operating with green hydrogen," Lange says.
As Texas continues to grow, more power generation is needed to ensure a reliable and affordable supply during peak power, and the Sky Global Power One plant is a critical solution to help solve Texas’ energy needs.
INNIO is a leading solutions provider of gas engines, power equipment, a digital platform and related services for power generation and gas compression at or near the point of use. With our Jenbacher and Waukesha product brands, INNIO pushes beyond the possible and looks boldly toward tomorrow. Our diverse portfolio of reliable, economical and sustainable industrial gas engines generates 200 kW to 10 MW of power for numerous industries globally. We can provide life cycle support to the more than 53,000 delivered gas engines worldwide. And, backed by our service network in more than 100 countries, INNIO connects with you locally for rapid response to your service needs. Headquartered in Jenbach, Austria, the business also has primary operations in Welland, Ontario, Canada, and Waukesha, Wisconsin, US. For more information, visit the company's website at www.innio.com. Follow INNIO on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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.
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