Britain’s biggest nuclear project, Hinkley Point C (HPC), has taken another step forward with GE Power announcing that it has begun work on the first rotor of the power plant’s steam turbine.
GE Power is supplying an ARABELLE steam turbine, which is currently being assembled at GE’s Belfort manufacturing facility in France. The steam turbine rotor is a key component to any powerplant as it enables the transfer of the turbine rotating movement to the generator, enabling the electrical output. The start of the first line rotor manufacturing at GE’s Belfort plant represents a key milestone in the execution of the HPC project, enabling the manufacturing process of further turbine components.
GE is playing a critical role in the development of Hinkley Point C, as the US company will be supplying two conventional power islands for HPC, which include the ARABELLE steak turbine generator, and other critical equipment. The ARABELLE turbine produces 2% more power output than a traditional configuration and has a 99.96% reliability rate. The turbine’s that GE is building for HPC will be the largest ever built- longer than an Airbus 380- and capable of producing 1,770 MW each.
Commenting on the progress, Matthias Schweinfest, Senior Executive Business Operations at GE Power’s Steam Power division, said:
“We are very pleased with the progress of the Hinkley Point C project. We are on track with the project, which is expected to deliver around 7% of the UK’s power generation capacity for the next 60 years. GE’s ARABELLE steam turbine, which represents 6 decades of nuclear steam turbine expertise, is the prime solution to ensure the delivery of clean, reliable power that will bolster the UK’s energy infrastructure.”
HPC is the UK’s first nuclear power station built in more than twenty years, located in Bridgwater, Somerset. With an increase in power plant retirements by 2030, the need for additional energy supply to secure the UK grid was critical. Once in operation, HPC is expected to deliver more than 3.2 GW to the grid, enough to cover 6 million homes, and avoid 9 million tons of CO2 emissions each year.