Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc. (Mitsubishi Power) and El Paso Electric (EPE) have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) establishing a framework for collaboratively developing clean energy projects that will help EPE meet its clean energy targets.
The JDA demonstrates EPE’s commitment to decreasing carbon emissions by utilizing a combination of renewable energy, energy storage, and hydrogen-powered power generation to fulfill the growing need for clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.
The JDA will develop strategies and alternatives to achieve an 80 percent carbon-free resource mix by 2035 and a roadmap to achieve a 100 percent carbon-free energy mix to meet EPE’s future customer needs by 2045, all while ensuring that EPE’s customers receive a safe, reliable, and affordable energy supply. The JDA will concentrate on the following:
- Creating a hydrogen strategy and roadmap for EPE’s whole power generation fleet in order to create carbon-free electricity
- Developing a strategy for converting EPE’s Newman Power Station’s newest unit from 100% natural gas production to a blend of up to 30% hydrogen generation, and eventually to 100% hydrogen generation for carbon-free power generation
- Providing support for resource planning through the incorporation of hydrogen and carbon-free resources
- Evaluating future prospects to integrate regional transportation, commercial, and other industrial sectors in order to promote decarbonization and economic growth
“El Paso Electric is committed to advancing innovative technologies and customer-focused strategies to serve our communities in a reliable, affordable, sustainable manner,” said Kelly A. Tomblin, President and CEO, El Paso Electric. “Consistently, we have announced the goal of 80% carbon neutrality by 2035 and the pursuit of 100% by 2045. Signing this joint development agreement will support those important goals.”
EPE exemplified this dedication in 2016 when it became the first utility in Texas and New Mexico to phase out coal power from its energy mix.
“Our JDA with Mitsubishi Power will establish a powerful partnership that will focus on identifying, developing, and executing projects to reduce overall carbon emissions while improving reliability from our energy generation portfolio. We will engage additional partnerships to pursue other initiatives that will spur economic growth for our region,” Tomblin added.
EPE selected Mitsubishi Electricity’s 228 megawatt (MW) Smart M501GAC enhanced response (SmartER) gas turbine in January 2021 as part of its commitment to cleaner and more sustainable power generation. This gas turbine will enable EPE to treble its renewable energy portfolio, increase its responsiveness to renewable energy’s intermittency through rapid dispatch, and cut carbon emissions. Additionally, the gas turbine is hydrogen-capable, allowing for further decarbonization in the future.
Paul Browning, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Power Americas, said, “We have 25 years to decarbonize electric power, which makes us all part of ‘The Power Generation.’ We believe that during the energy transition, utilities will need total decarbonization solutions that leverage multiple technologies. That’s why we’re excited about entering into a JDA with El Paso Electric to collaborate on long-term planning, technology, integration, implementation and support for their journey toward a carbon-free power generation and energy storage mix. Together with our customers, we are creating a Change in Power.”