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News Release

Release Date: February 19, 2004

First Commercial Application of Advanced Natural Gas Turbine Announced
Turbine Developed Through Department of Energy’s Advanced Turbine Systems Program

GE Energy has announced that the world’s first application of their next-generation 7H gas turbine technology will be an 800-megawatt class, combined-cycle project with Hydro-Quebec Production. The new natural-gas-fired power plant, to be built at Beauharnois, Quebec, southwest of Montreal, will be based on two GE 107H combined-cycle systems. The plant is expected to enter commercial service in mid 2007.

The 7H gas turbine is one of two H System gas turbines developed by GE Energy as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s advanced turbine systems program. The Hydro-Quebec plant will be the first commercial application of the 60-hertz 7H, the H System turbine suitable for use in the United States and Canada. The 50-hertz 9H, suitable for the overseas market, got its commercial start in 2003 at the Baglan Bay Power Station in Wales, UK. The Baglan Bay plant has received a number of prestigious industry awards for its use of the innovative H System turbine.

The H System is the first gas turbine combined-cycle system capable of achieving 60 percent thermal efficiency. When the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory started the advanced turbine systems program in the early 1990s, the best turbines available had efficiencies of only 50 percent. Today’s most efficient combined-cycle plants operate in the 57- to 58-percent efficiency range.

The improved efficiency is important because each percentage point gain can mean as much as $20 million in reduced operating costs over the life of a typical gas-fired combined-cycle plant. Higher efficiency also means improved environmental performance; for each unit of electricity produced, the H System uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions that other large gas turbine combined-cycle systems.

Natural gas turbines are expected to make up more than 80 percent of the power generating capacity to be added in the United States over the next 10 years. The global turbine market also promises to be significant, with worldwide power generation approaching $100 billion over the next decade.

For more information about the GE/Hydro-Quebec project, please see For more information about the award-winning Baglan Bay power plant, please see


Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646