Zero Emission Hydrogen Turbine Center- innovation of a sustainable energy system
Zero Emission Hydrogen Turbine Center is a project, where a demonstration plant will be built to show how hydrogen turbines, renewable energy production and energy storage work together in a flexible and sustainable future energy system.
Gas Turbines for production of electricity and heat will, according to IEA, play an important role to phase out coal and to reduce the emissions of the global power sector. In the long-term, fuels such as hydrogen have the potential to be cheaper and more frequent in gas turbines. Operating a gas turbine on hydrogen instead of natural gas will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Today, Siemens gas turbines can operate on up to a 60% hydrogen mix and the goal is to be able to run the turbines on 100% hydrogen latest by 2030.
Due to their flexibility and short ramp-up times, gas turbines have proven to be very effective in balancing the volatile renewable energy production ( i.e. solar and wind). Hydrogen is a fuel with future potential because of its zero-carbon combustion emissions, that could offer low carbon flexibility for electricity systems with increasing shares of variable renewable energy. It has the potential to help with the variable output from renewable energy, where the availability is not always well matched with the demand. Furthermore, it is one of the leading options for storing energy from renewable energy and has the potential to be one of the lowest cost options for storing energy over days, weeks or even months.
The project aims to use excess energy from gas turbine tests performed att the turbine production site at Siemens, Finspång, and electricity from solar panels to produce hydrogen in an electrolyzer. The hydrogen will be used as a fuel in the gas turbines. In a local microgrid, it will be possible to optimize the use of energy through storage, as hydrogen or in a battery. Hydrogen created at the plant will be used in further research and development of the hydrogen turbines, to reach the target to run the gas turbines solely on 100% hydrogen with zero CO2 emissions, latest by 2030.
The project, which started in 2019, is a consortium between Siemens in Finspång, the County Administrative Board of Östergötland, Finspång municipality, AGA Linde, Chalmers and Bologna University in Italy. Installation of the equipment for the demonstrator plant will start in the summer of 2020 and the project will be finalized, including microgrid studies, in the fall of 2022. The project is partly financed by Swedish Energy Agency as part of ERA Net Smart Energy Systems.