Australian Renewable Hydrogen Power Plant One Step Closer To Completion

A green hydrogen power plant facility in South Australia is a step closer to completion with announcement of a generator supplier.

by Jim Plouffe, contributor

Australian hydrogen infrastructure developer H2U confirmed today that it will use Baker Hughes NovaLT gas turbine generators at its South Australian Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Supply Chain Demonstrator in Port Lincoln.

H2U won the AUD$117.5 million green tech project a year ago in partnership with German-based thyssenkrupp.

Partially funded by $4.7M in grants and $7.5M in loans from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, the project will integrate new hydrogen technologies, including a 15-MW electrolyzer plant, a distributed ammonia production facility, and a 10-MW hydrogen ­fired gas turbine and 5-MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.

H2U CEO Dr Attilio Pigneri said NovaLT generators were chosen for the green hydrogen power plant facility because they could operate on 100 percent hydrogen at all times.

“The annular combustor design and dual-shaft configuration will enable the unit to deliver a best-in-class black-start capability while still operating on 100 percent hydrogen,” Dr Pigneri said.

“We are impressed by the operating flexibility of the platform and its ability to operate at a low to no-load capacity, then ramp-up very quickly to full load.

“This means we can use the units to support critical loads within the Port Lincoln facility, while also contributing generation to the grid during periods of low wind or solar output. The hydrogen is also produced by the electrolysis plant on site, so we have a truly self-contained solution to firming renewable energy supply within the South Australia grid.”

Dr Pigneri said the cost of hydrogen generated from electrolysis using cheap wind and solar energy was now comparable with the cost of natural gas in South Australia.

“The hydrogen and ammonia demonstrator at Port Lincoln is leading the Australian charge to a 100 percent renewable hydrogen economy with strong export potential,” he said.

The project is due for completion in 2020 and will be one of the first commercial plants to produce carbon dioxide-free green ammonia from intermittent renewable resources.

Luca Maria Rossi, Chief Technology Officer of Turbomachinery Process & Solutions at BHGE said they would work with H2U to ensure nitrogen oxide emissions were managed within applicable limits.

“South Australia is at the forefront of both renewable generation and hydrogen infrastructure developments and we are very pleased to be able to work with H2U to showcase our products in this important market,” said Rossi.

The green ammonia can be used as an industrial fertilizer for farmers and aquaculture operators.

The Port Lincoln facility is one of 21 projects to receive funding from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, designed to accelerate investment in the next generation of renewable technologies. Other projects include microgrids, virtual power plants, grid-scale batteries, and pumped hydro projects.

This article was originally published by The Lead and was reprinted with permission. 

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