As more coal-fired plants in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) region are retired, the need for essential reliable and flexible power is crucial to grid stability and to help meet increasing consumer demand for electricity.
GE Vernova gas turbines, generators, and steam turbines help the Guernsey power station to use natural gas from the nearby Marcellus and Utica shale formations to produce electricity to supply millions of homes in the PJM region.
In southeastern Ohio, approximately 89% of retired energy production capacity comes from the fuel source that the area was once renowned for: coal. While facilities get shuttered, consumer electricity demand rises, posing a daunting challenge for power companies like Caithness Energy.
Fortunately, a fuel source that produces less carbon emissions has become available with the advent of hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”). Guernsey County, Ohio sits atop the heart of the Utica and Marcellus shale gas formations, offering a potentially abundant source of fuel for the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) interconnection grid.
In 2019, Caithness partnered with the Apex Power Group to construct the Guernsey power station, which would use natural gas from the nearby shale deposits to supply more than 1 GW of electricity to millions of homes in the PJM region.
Caithness looked to GE Vernova to supply the equipment and expertise needed to make the Guernsey plant operate at peak efficiency. Under the terms of a multi-year agreement, GE Vernova supplied three gas turbines, three generators, three steam turbines, and three heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) units, comprising the plant’s internal mechanisms.
The Guernsey power station went online in June 2023 with capacity to burn up to 20% green hydrogen. Caithness plans to transition the plant to 100% hydrogen sometime in the mid-2030s.