Engie Electrabel to rely on jet engines against electricity shortages in Belgium

By USAF – U.S. Air Force photo [1] from the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center History Office [2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11674204

Recently, Belgium raised concerns about possible electricity shortages in winter. To cover these power shortages, Belgium-based Electrabel GDF Suez, a subsidiary of French Engie, has now found 1,143 megawatts of extra power. A lot more than the promised 750 megawatts. The energy corporation is going far to reach this target: it is, among others, firing old jet engines, which have been used since 1960.

Electrabel confirmed that it has nine of those jet engines in its production park. A few times per year, these engines are started to absorb peak demand.

The jet engines are part of a reserve capacity that the transmission system operator (TSO) can rely on to contribute to the balance on the electrical grid to regional or local electricity distribution operators,” a spokesperson confirmed. “The jet engines are to be used as a last resort only: they consume a lot of fuel and their yield is very limited. On the other hand, they can be switched on very quickly and can run at full capacity in an hour.

The energy producer stated that it fully complies with environmental standards.


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