Duke Energy intends to build a demonstration project to produce, store and combust 100% green hydrogen.
The green hydrogen system will be located at Duke Energy Florida’s DeBary solar plant in Volusia County, Florida.
“Duke Energy is constantly evolving and seeking ways to provide clean, safe energy solutions to our customers,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “DeBary will be home to Duke Energy’s first green hydrogen production and storage system connected to existing solar for power generation, and we are grateful to the city for allowing this innovative technology in their community.”
The existing 74.5-MW DeBary solar plant will supply power to two 1-MW electrolyzer units that will separate water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen atoms.
The resulting oxygen will be released into the atmosphere, while the green hydrogen will be delivered to nearby, reinforced containers for safe storage. During times when energy demand is highest, the system will deliver the stored green hydrogen to a combustion turbine (CT) that will be upgraded using GE Vernova technology to run on a natural gas/hydrogen blend or up to 100% hydrogen. This will be the nation’s first CT in operation running on such a high percentage of hydrogen.
GE Vernova will support the integration of the turbine with green hydrogen, including the upgrade on one of the four GE 7E gas turbines installed at the site to accommodate hydrogen fuel blends of significant volumes.
“Duke Energy anticipates hydrogen could play a major role in our clean energy future,” said Regis Repko, senior VP of generation and transmission strategy for Duke Energy. “Hydrogen has significant potential for decarbonization across all sectors of the U.S. economy. It is a clean energy also capable of long-duration storage, which would help Duke Energy ensure grid reliability as we continue adding more renewable energy sources to our system.”
Readily available hydrogen is a dispatchable energy source, meaning it is available on demand. It can be turned on and off at any time and is not dependent on the time of day or the weather.
GE began working with Duke Energy on a hydrogen plant readiness assessment in 2021. Following the installation of the electrolyzer equipment and hydrogen storage capacity on site, GE Vernova will execute modifications to the existing 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 Vernova will also install the fuel skid with hydrogen blending, finalize control modifications, and support the overall integration of the project to support 100% hydrogen operation expected in 2024.
When fully operational, the converted 83-MW 7E gas turbine will have the ability to operate on natural gas, liquid fuel, 100% hydrogen, or a blend of natural gas and hydrogen providing the site with complete fuel and operating flexibility while maintaining plant reliability.
Construction of the demonstration project in DeBary will begin later this year and could take about one year to complete. Duke Energy anticipates the system will be installed and fully functioning in 2024.
News item from Duke Energy