GE and China Huadian Corp. earlier this week announced a joint venture to develop distributed-energy combined heat and power (DECHP) plants.
The plants will use GE's aeroderivative technology, in which GE aviation engines are modified to burn natural gas or biofuels to create energy.
Power-generation units, ranging from 18 to 100 megawatts, will provide electricity for consumers in China who are close to the facilities, according to GE.
"The highly flexible jet-engine-based technology helps energy companies take advantage of the growing trend to use abundant, cleaner-burning natural gas for power generation," GE said in a news release.
DECHP systems recover heat that normally would be wasted in the power-generation process, saving fuel that would otherwise be used to produce additional heat or steam in a separate unit, according to GE.
The systems produce electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel at a facility located near the consumers.
The $100 million joint venture company will be called Huadian GE Aero Gas Turbine Equipment Co. Ltd, with China Huadian owning the majority share.
The joint venture could create more than 1,000 DECHP plans in China over the next decade, GE said.
"The joint venture is part of GE's larger U.S.-China strategic relationship that will be a powerful spur to economic growth in both countries, enhance market confidence and encourage the rest of the world to follow in next generation of energy deployment," said Darryl Wilson, president and CEO, aeroderivative gas turbines, for GE Power & Water.
Dozens of American suppliers from locations such as Cincinnati and Cleveland; Fort Collins, Colo.; Portland, Ore.; and Houston and Lufkin, Texas, will support the projects in China, according to GE.
This is the latest in a string of GE investments in China.
In November, GE announced plans to invest more than $2 billion through 2012 to help tackle the country's pressing energy and infrastructure needs.
On Jan. 5, GE said it signed a contract with Jiangsu Tianue Energy & Chemical Group Co. Ltd, which is building a high-efficiency gas-turbine power plant to convert industrial-dismissed gas into power and steam to meet increasing energy needs in the region.
The power plant will be equipped with three aeroderivative gas turbines, which are the first LM2500+G4 units sold in China, according to GE. GE's aeroderivative gas turbines will use coke-oven gas as fuel and turn it into electricity for the region.
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