NORWALK >> Southern California Edison launched the world’s first hybrid battery and gas turbine power plants Monday that will provide cleaner stopgap power during hot summer months when electricity demand soars.
Officials at an unveiling ceremony in Norwalk called the new plant “the world’s first” and said a second hybrid plant was built in Rancho Cucamonga. Both went online March 30 and Southern California Edison is planning three more plants.
The two gas-turbine plants have been retrofitted with lithium ion battery technology that can power the plant instantaneously, reducing warm-up time to nearly zero seconds and dropping emissions by 60 percent. Ordinary gas-turbine plants that run only when needed can take up to 12 hours to ramp up, while spewing emissions that cause lung-damaging smog and greenhouse gases that exacerbate global climate change, air quality and energy, officials said.
The schedule for retrofitting SCE’s three other “peaker” plants has not yet been released.
“It is truly the first utility plant in the country that combines existing gas-turbine technology with battery storage,” said Jill Whynot, deputy executive officer with the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Whynot also mentioned the benefits of relying more on battery power than natural gas, in light of…