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The Role of Retrofitted Gas Turbine Power Plants for Clean Hydrogen Fuel in a Fully Decarbonized Generation Portfolio

28 Jun 2023
Hydrogen Production, Storage, and Infrastructure Development
With the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act into law and start of the funding process for the DoE’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program, the United States has taken a globally leading, definitive step in decarbonizing industry and creating a robust clean energy economy, including the power generation sector. However, the inherent volatility and intermittency of the country’s growing portfolio of grid-scale renewable power sources will invariably require dispatchable, affordable firming capacity to balance supply and demand load swings in a reliable, secure manner. A solution for this situation is the use of gas turbines. According to the US Energy Information Administration, 42% of the total CO2 emissions in 2020 generated by utilities and independent power producers were from the use of natural gas, primarily from gas turbine power plants. One solution to mitigate and eventually eliminate CO2 emission from these power plants is to use hydrogen, which generates no CO2 emissions. Using hydrogen as 100% of the fuel source and this dispatchable power becomes entirely carbon free. The focus of this presentation will be to highlight the technical challenges associated with using hydrogen and natural gas in power generating gas turbines while at the same time, maintaining ultra-low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO) emissions, both EPA regulated pollutants. Highlighted will be the development and commercially operating high-hydrogen capable combustion system retrofit platforms offered by PSM. The product solution attributes, customer operational experiences and technology development roadmap allowing a variable fuel range from 100% natural gas to 100% hydrogen will be highlighted. This flexibility will allow the installed fleet of multi-OEM gas turbine power plants to participate in the clean energy transition.  
Jeffrey Benoit, Vice President - Clean Energy Solutions - PSM - a Hanwha Company