MHPS Pioneers First Hydrogen-Capable J-Series Gas Turbines

Published: 17 May 2020 - 12:05 p.m.
By: Baset Asaba

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has secured an order for the first advanced-class gas turbines designed to transition to renewable hydrogen fuel from Utah’s state-owned Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) in the United States of America.

This award marks the first Advanced Class Gas Turbines in the industry specifically designed and purchased as part of a comprehensive plan to decommission a coal fired power plant to transition to renewable hydrogen fuel - and create a roadmap for the global industry to follow. The turbines will be commercially guaranteed capable of using a mix of 30% hydrogen and 70% natural gas fuel by 2025. This fuel mixture will reduce carbon emissions by more than 75% compared to the retiring coal-fired technology. To meet California law, from 2025 onwards, the hydrogen capability will be systematically increased to 100% renewable hydrogen, enabling carbon-free utility-scale power generation.

IPA’s order includes two 1-on-1 M501JAC power trains with gas turbines, steam turbines, heat recovery steam generators, and auxiliary equipment. MHPS will service the plant under a 20-year long-term service agreement.

MHPS’s installed fleet of J-Series gas turbines already has accumulated 1 million hours of operating experience. IPA will receive MHPS’s newest generation JAC air-cooled dry low NOx combustion system with hydrogen-rich fuel capability. MHPS gas turbines have more than 3.5 million hours of operating experience for high-hydrogen mix percentage, accumulated over 40 years and across 29 facilities.

The IPA project is not the first major hydrogen project for MHPS. The company will convert the existing Magnum Vattenfall 440MW power plant in the Netherlands to 100% hydrogen by 2025.

In May of 2019, MHPS partnered with Magnum Development to announce plans to develop the Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) project adjacent to IPP. The ACES project will use a combination of renewable power to store and produce hydrogen through electrolysis. The hydrogen will be stored in an underground salt dome at the site, using technology that has been in operation for the past 30 years to supply hydrogen to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast of the United States. Stored renewable hydrogen can provide power when wind and solar availability are limited due to prevailing weather conditions and time of day, as well as provide seasonal energy storage from renewable energy sources.

Powered by a strong legacy of successfully collaborating with key power sector entities worldwide, MHPS will further leverage its expertise in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by partnering with local Government units and stakeholders to deploy similar cutting-edge energy solutions, which are going to be pivotal in demonstrating how hydrogen can competitively fulfil clean energy expectations in countries across the region.

According to MHPS, countries with favorable renewable energy environments like Saudi Arabia, can evolve into supply hubs of commercially competitive hydrogen fuel or hydrogen power, hence continuing to play a central role in world energy supply.

Khalid Salem, President of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems MENA said: “We envision that Hydrogen is going to be a game changer; and we believe in a ‘Hydrogen Society’, a future in which hydrogen, a carbon-free fuel, will make up a significant proportion of the world's energy mix. MHPS has long pioneered Hydrogen fuel combustion technologies, and our recent large-scale and ambitious project undertakings like ACES in the US, but also Vattenfall in the Netherlands, demonstrate our commitment and our accumulated expertise. Today we are capable of successfully deploying our hydrogen technology capabilities in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia where we can support both countries’ potential ambitions in this space.”

Paul Browning, President and CEO of MHPS Americas and newly appointed Chief Regional Officer for Europe, Africa and the Middle East said, “The mission statement of the 2,000+ employees of MHPS Americas is to provide power generation and storage solutions that enable our customers to combat climate change and advance human prosperity. We worked hard to develop a total solution for our customer IPA that included not only gas turbines capable of using renewable hydrogen fuel, but also the nearby ACES project, which will affordably generate and store large quantities of renewable hydrogen. We believe both IPP and ACES will be essential renewable energy infrastructure that will eventually help enable a 100% renewable power grid for the entire western interconnect of the United States and will also provide renewable hydrogen for industrial and transport uses.”

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