MHPS Supplying Power Trains For Transition To Hydrogen Fuel

By Jack Burke10 March 2020

In what it calls a first for the industry, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) will supply two M501JAC power trains for the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) in Delta, Utah, USA, as part of a move to renewable hydrogen fuel.

MHPS said this project marks the first advanced class gas turbines in the industry specifically designed and purchased as part of a comprehensive plan to sequentially transition from coal to natural gas and finally to renewable hydrogen fuel, and creates a roadmap for the global industry to follow. This transition will start in 2025, when the turbines will be commercially guaranteed capable of using a mix of 30% hydrogen and 70% natural gas fuel. This fuel mixture will reduce carbon emissions by more than 75% compared to the retiring coal-fired technology. Between 2025 and 2045, the hydrogen capability will be systematically increased to 100% renewable hydrogen, enabling carbon-free utility-scale power generation, according to MHPS.

The renewed generation facility will be owned by the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) and operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). It will provide 840 MW of energy to the IPA purchasers it serves, including Los Angeles and municipalities in other parts of California and Utah. The power plant is connected to the Los Angeles power grid by an existing high voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission line.

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.

“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,” said Paul Browning, President and CEO of MHPS Americas. “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.”

MHPS’s installed fleet of J-Series gas turbines has accumulated almost 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 high-hydrogen operating experience, accumulated over 40 years and across 29 facilities.

The selection of the new M501JAC power trains expands the MHPS footprint in Millard County, Utah. 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 renewable power to 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, MHPS said.

“Our mission is to provide affordable, reliable power with a future vision of becoming a net-zero carbon energy resource,” said Dan Eldredge, General Manager of the IPA. “The unique Intermountain Power Project site and existing regional energy infrastructure provide an ideal opportunity for accomplishing this mission.”

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