Duke Energy is set to commence work on the first-ever demonstration project in the United States that will create clean energy through a comprehensive system that involves the production, storage, and combustion of 100% green hydrogen.
Duke Energy, a North Carolina-based energy company, has harnessed its expertise in collaboration with Sargent and Lundy and GE Vernova to bring this innovative technology to life. The system, once operational, will be based at Duke Energy’s DeBary power plant in Volusia County, Florida, marking a significant milestone in the transition to sustainable energy solutions.
At its core, this end-to-end system will leverage the existing 74.5MW DeBary solar plant to generate clean energy, which will then power two 1MW electrolyzer units. These units will perform the vital task of separating water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen atoms. While the oxygen is safely released into the atmosphere, the green hydrogen will be transported to nearby reinforced containers, ensuring secure storage.
When electricity demand surges, the system will come into its own. It will release the stored green hydrogen to fuel a combustion turbine, which has been upgraded using GE Vernova technology to run on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen or even 100% hydrogen.
The construction of this pioneering demonstration project in DeBary is expected to commence later this year, with an estimated completion time of around one year. Duke Energy’s timeline aims for the system to be fully operational by 2024.
Regis Repko, Senior Vice-President of Generation and Transmission Strategy for Duke Energy, highlighted the game-changing potential of hydrogen in the company’s clean energy journey. He emphasized that hydrogen possesses the capacity to drive decarbonization across various sectors of the US economy. Furthermore, its unique capability for long-duration storage aligns with Duke Energy’s mission to bolster grid reliability while incorporating an ever-increasing amount of renewable energy sources into their system.
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is a prominent energy provider in the region, boasting an impressive 10,500 megawatts of energy capacity. Their reach extends to supplying electricity to approximately 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers across a vast 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.
This innovative project represents a remarkable step forward in the pursuit of cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, signaling Duke Energy’s commitment to reshaping the energy landscape.