NYPA shares results from green hydrogen blending

The New York Power Authority announced the findings of a green hydrogen demonstration project, showing reduced carbon emissions when using hydrogen blended with natural gas to generate power at the Power Authority’s Brentwood Small Clean Power Plant on Long Island, as part of a comprehensive decarbonization strategy.

The demonstration project, run by NYPA in partnership with EPRI, General Electric, and Airgas, an Air Liquide firm, retrofits a natural gas facility and makes it possible to run the plant and generate electricity using hydrogen combined with natural gas.

The plant was successfully proved to be fully operational while using the hydrogen blend safely by NYPA and its industrial partners. By proving that hydrogen may be a useful instrument to aid in the decarbonization of power production, the initiative educates New York and the power sector.

While hydrogen is already used by NYPA and other power providers to cool equipment, this experiment is the first time it has been studied as a fuel mix for use in producing electricity at an NYPA generator. The State of New York declared its intention to investigate the possible function of clean hydrogen in July 2021.

Working with its partners, NYPA oversaw a hydrogen fuel demonstration that lasted from the fall of 2021 to the spring of 2022. The demonstration looked at the possibility of replacing some of the natural gas used to power NYPA’s Brentwood Power Station in Suffolk County, Long Island, with clean hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectricity.

In order to assess and document any potential effects on GE’s LM-6000 combustion turbine engine and the unit’s operation, NYPA tested power generation using mixtures of 5%–40% hydrogen and natural gas. According to the project, carbon emissions dropped as hydrogen concentration rose.

The exhaust stack NOx, CO, and ammonia slip levels also demonstrated that emissions could be kept below the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Title V Regulatory Permit using the existing post-combustion emissions reduction systems, with no known adverse effects on the gas turbine operations. This finding may have significant implications for power plant operators who wish to reduce the carbon output of their facilities by testing and utilizing hydrogen fuels with little to no modification to existing plant systems.

Using Hydrogen to Reduce Carbon Emissions: NYPA Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project

The maker of gas turbine equipment, General Electric, and NYPA worked together to develop hydrogen and other low-BTU fuels. The cutting-edge technology for combining hydrogen and natural gas was built with help from GE. The project’s design was assisted by EPRI’s Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, which also provided technical assessment advice. The test’s renewable hydrogen was provided by Airgas.

The pipe system that transported the hydrogen to the GE-designed mixing skid and, ultimately, into the turbine was constructed by Fresh Meadow Power. Sargent & Lundy, the original architect-engineer of the Brentwood facility, offered engineering advice as well as safety evaluations. The possibility of combining clean hydrogen with natural gas, one potential use among many for clean hydrogen, is critically illuminated by this cutting-edge study.

This data adds more details to ongoing, inclusive discussions about the use of clean hydrogen in New York and the rest of the northeast that will take advantage of the state’s dedication to building an electric grid devoid of emissions, the region’s distinctive topography, and its wealth of renewable resources.

Particular significant conclusions included:

• Lessened CO2 emissions – In line with expectations, hydrogen fuel percentages grew while CO2 (carbon dioxide) mass emission rates (ton/hr) declined. When employing 35% hydrogen cofiring, CO2 mass emission rates at 47 MWg (megawatt gross) were lowered by around 14%.

• Regulatory compliance – Using the current SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and CO catalyst post-combustion control systems, other emissions, including NOx (nitrogen oxides), CO (carbon monoxide), and ammonia levels, were maintained below regulatory operating permit limits at steady water injection conditions.

• Dependable operation and asset integrity – The engine’s control remained constant during the test, and the combustion system’s components were in good shape before, during, and after the test.

According to Marcelo Fioranelli, CEO of Airgas and Vice President of the Air Liquide Group, “Airgas, an Air Liquide company, is very proud to lend our expertise in sustainable gas solutions – including renewable hydrogen – to support our customers as they develop new ways to meet climate goals and invent a cleaner, safer, more dependable energy market.” “Airgas and Air Liquide are enthusiastic to explore how hydrogen can be a powerful, dependable driver of the energy transition in the power and energy industry.” Airgas and Air Liquide “have a similar goal to attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.”

The project was created to test and show the viability of using new low-to-zero carbon technologies to help achieve zero-carbon emissions by 2035 (NYPA’s goal) and inform the state’s goal to have a 100% zero-emission electricity sector by 2040. It was designed to align with NYPA’s strategic VISION2030 priority to decarbonize its natural gas plants. The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (also known as the Climate Act) of New York asks for a reasonable and orderly transition to clean energy as well as a global economy that is carbon neutral. There has been significant progress in changing New York’s power system to spur the development of a clean energy economy, including new energy storage efforts, transmission expansion, upgrades, and the piloting of hydrogen generation.

The volume of hydrogen necessary, the lack of blending experience in the business, and the stringent code requirements are just a few of the difficulties that would make it impossible for the plant to continue operating using the mix, according to the research.