GE Vernova is joining Duke Energy in its development of an “end-to-end green hydrogen system” at the latter’s DeBary plant, near Orlando, and starting up in 2024. It will be the first plant in the U.S. to produce and use green hydrogen to power a gas turbine for peaking power applications, when the grid requires additional electrical generation.
Green hydrogen is an industrial gas fuel produced from water by electrolysis using renewable energy, so that it generates no polluting emissions.
GE Vernova will modify the 7E gas turbine gas turbine infrastructure at the DeBary plant, including the fuel handling systems, valves, and piping compatible with higher blends of hydrogen operation and up to 100% hydrogen (by volume). GE also will install a fuel skid with hydrogen blending, finalize control modifications, and support overall integration of the project to support 100% hydrogen operation.
When fully operational, the converted 83-megawatt gas turbine will have the flexibility to operate on natural gas, liquid fuel, 100% hydrogen, or a blend of natural gas and hydrogen.
Production, storage, and end-use of the green hydrogen will be co-located at the DeBary power plant, which includes a 74.5-MW solar power plant and a 692-MW gas power plant, driven by six GE 7B gas turbines and four GE 7E gas turbines.
GE Vernova will support integration of the turbine with green hydrogen, including the upgrade on one of the GE 7E gas turbines to accommodate hydrogen fuel blends of significant volumes.
It will be the first commercial operation of this ability, according to GE.
The DeBary Hydrogen Project will draw electricity from the installed solar array to power electrolyzers that will process water to produce hydrogen.
“This first-ever, commercial operation of a gas turbine on 100% hydrogen will be a groundbreaking achievement for Duke Energy and for our industry. Our existing solar field and gas turbines at DeBary provide a unique opportunity for us to produce green hydrogen, store it onsite and then combust it to ensure reliable service when electricity demand is high,” stated Duke Energy senior vice president Regis Repko.
“This combination of technologies will allow gas turbines to become decarbonized, dispatchable assets that support the addition of more renewables to our grid, and we appreciate the opportunity to collaborate on such an innovative project with GE Vernova and others,” Repko added.