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NextEra wants 16GW of hydrogen power stations in Florida

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The ‘Blueprint for Real Zero,’ unveiled by NextEra last week, suggests that by 2045, 16GW of FPL’s natural gas-fired power plants – the majority of the current fleet – would be converted to run on green hydrogen created on-site electrolyzers.

However, due to its inefficiencies, the notion of hydrogen-fired electricity has been generally dismissed. With a round-trip efficiency of less than 40%, every 10kWh of wind or solar energy is given to the electrolyzer yields less than 4kWh of electricity at the other end.

FPL’s anticipated power mix for 2045 does not include green hydrogen, with NextEra claiming that it intends to generate 83 percent of its electricity from “solar, battery energy storage, and green hydrogen” combined, with green hydrogen counting as storage rather than a power source.

The inefficiencies associated with hydrogen-fired electricity persist even when the fuel is utilized as storage: according to a study conducted by the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, the process of creating, storing, and turning back into power would waste 68 percent of the power generated.

One option is to use hydrogen for long-term storage while batteries are used for short-term demands, especially if demand and supply are not in sync.

It’s worth mentioning that NextEra intends to keep the remaining 6GW of natural gas plants that haven’t been converted to green H2 online in order to maintain “system dependability,” meaning that they will be used to balance out the erratic power supply as well.

NextEra also plans to sell green hydrogen generated from its larger solar capacity projects to other parties, with the money going back to their consumers.

NextEra appears to have included a stipulation in the RealZero plan: specific initiatives that prove to be too costly will not be pursued.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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