EnBW, one of Germany’s major energy companies, is partnering with GE Vernova’s Gas Power business to construct state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Heilbronn and Altbach/Deizisau, near Stuttgart.
These plants, set to begin operation by the end of 2026, will replace existing coal-fired facilities, marking a transition to highly efficient natural gas-fired power generation equipment. The projects are not just about enhancing energy efficiency; they are pivotal in enabling the combustion of up to 100% hydrogen by volume in the 2030s.
EnBW’s commitment to this transition is grounded in its drive to increase power supply security, phase out coal, and expand the use of renewable energy resources. By shifting from coal to natural gas, carbon emissions can be reduced by as much as 60%, accompanied by lower levels of other pollutants such as mercury, NOx, SOx, and particulate matter. This switch aligns with national and European decarbonization regulations and promotes district heating, energy sustainability, renewables use, and the reduction of fossil fuel dependence.
The new Heilbronn and Altbach/Deizisau CHP plants, each with a capacity of 680MW, are a testament to the evolving landscape of power generation. They will utilize GE’s cutting-edge technology, powered by a GE 9HA.01 gas turbine, STF-D650 steam turbine, W88 generator, and Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG). Additionally, they will be equipped with GE Vernova’s integrated Mark* VIe Distributed Control System (DCS) software solution for improved visibility, reliability, and cost efficiency.
One of the standout features of these power plants is their ability to operate on up to 100% hydrogen by volume. EnBW’s vision aligns with the national objective of deploying renewable energy and green hydrogen at a large scale. As the world looks toward sustainable and clean energy solutions, EnBW is not just discussing hydrogen-ready power plants; they are actively building them. This not only represents a forward-looking approach but also underscores their commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.
In tandem with the hardware, the agreement also encompasses services and maintenance for a decade, along with GE Vernova’s Digital business’ Asset Performance Management (APM) software. This software employs powerful Digital Twin technology that facilitates Predictive Analytics, enabling EnBW to enhance performance, reduce costs, increase reliability and efficiency, and maximize the effectiveness of the GE 9HA.01 gas turbine.
The significance of this endeavor is multi-fold. First, it represents a shift towards a greener and more sustainable energy landscape in Germany, aligning with the country’s ambitious climate goals. It showcases the efficiency of advanced gas turbine technology and its critical role in the transition from coal-fired power generation to renewable hydrogen-based power. Finally, it highlights the role of district heating in urban environments, especially when compared to heat pumps or solar thermal systems.