Energy supplier Long Ridge Energy Terminal (Long Ridge) – a subsidiary unit of transportation and infrastructure company Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors and an affiliate managed by asset management firm GCM Grosvenor – announced a successful first step to transition Long Ridge’s power plant toward carbon-free hydrogen.
Following the start of commercial operation achieved in October 2021, the plant conducted a successful demonstration using a hydrogen-blended fuel in a General Electric (GE) high-efficiency air-cooled (HA) gas turbine at Long Ridge’s 485 MW combined-cycle power plant located in Hannibal, in Ohio, in the US. The hydrogen blending test was completed on March 30, 2022 at the facility using hydrogen produced as by-product from a nearby industrial facility.
“This is a profound achievement for Long Ridge, GE, and the entire power generation industry. Our Hannibal power plant is the first GE H-class plant globally in commercial operation to blend hydrogen successfully and we will continue to work with GE to lead the deployment of utility-scale hydrogen solutions and sustainable energy storage,” says Long Ridge president Bo Wholey.
“We are focused on delivering low-carbon, reliable and cost-effective energy to our customers including local data centers and technology companies. Data centers represent one of the many industries that can benefit from hydrogen-fueled power generation and – supported by GE’s advanced gas turbine – we are committed to meeting these needs,” he adds.
The plant is powered by a GE 7HA.02 gas turbine, which can burn between 15% and 20% hydrogen by volume in the gas stream initially and is expected to have the capability to use up to 100% hydrogen over time.
For the demonstration, GE provided an integrated system – GE’s H2 Integrated Fuel Blending System – to allow an initial blending of 5% hydrogen by volume and natural gas to demonstrate the capability. The blended fuel was injected to the combustion system of the gas turbine, and further upgrades will allow the power plant to use higher percentages of hydrogen subject to fuel availability and economics.
“Gas turbines—whether new or retrofitted — can help the power generation industry reduce its carbon emissions this decade by blending hydrogen with natural gas, and this first-of-its-kind demonstration in an H-Class “utility-scale” gas turbine is a major milestone for GE’s and the industry’s journey towards lower-carbon power generation,” says GE global energy business portfolio CEO Scott Strazik.
“This milestone is built on a great legacy of hydrogen fuels experience across GE’s non-HA gas turbine fleets where GE has more than eight-million operating hours burning hydrogen or similar low carbon fuels. We are pleased to collaborate with Long Ridge to demonstrate pre-combustion decarbonisation is something we can and must pursue today, even on GE’s largest utility scale HA gas turbines, to demonstrate that gas generation can be a destination technology in the energy transition,” he adds.
The facility plans to produce hydrogen onsite and is considering the use of below-ground salt formations for large-scale hydrogen storage. In this way, the plant will be able to support a balanced and diverse power generation portfolio in the future and leverage an overall energy storage capability ranging from accommodating seasonal fluctuations related to renewable power, to cost effective, dispatchable intermediate and baseload power.