GE to Help a 485 MW Ohio Power Facility to Operate on 100% Green Hydrogen

Long Ridge Energy Terminal has joined hands with New Fortress Energy (NFE) and General Electric (GE) to transition its 485 MW combined-cycle power project to operate on carbon-free hydrogen.

The combined-cycle power facility uses gas and steam turbines to produce more electricity from the same fuel than a conventional single-cycle facility.

The company has plans to operate its Ohio-based facility by incorporating hydrogen in the gas stream and enable the facility to burn 100%  green hydrogen over the next decade. The commercial operation of the facility is expected to begin in November 2021.

Hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage is blue hydrogen, while that made from renewable electricity is green. However, hydrogen gas is colorless.

It will be the first purpose-built hydrogen-burning power project in the United States and worldwide to incorporate hydrogen in GE H-class gas turbines. The facility will utilize a combustion turbine that can burn between 15-20% hydrogen by volume in the gas stream in the beginning, with the potential to transition to 100% hydrogen over time.

Meanwhile, GE recently announced its plans to exit the coal power market. The company said that it would focus and invest in its renewable energy and power generation businesses.

According to the statement, Zero will help Long Ridge transition its 485 MW project by scaling up new hydrogen production technologies that can produce low-cost hydrogen. Zero is a new NEF division that focuses on investing and deploying emerging hydrogen technologies.

“Long Ridge has many advantages in the pursuit of green hydrogen and zero-carbon power, and this partnership allows us to get firsthand knowledge and experience blending hydrogen and natural gas in GE turbines,” said Wes Edens, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of New Fortress Energy.

According to its press statement, Long Ridge’s facility has access to the Ohio River for water to produce green hydrogen through electrolysis. Over time, below ground salt formations could be used for large-scale hydrogen storage. It will utilize byproduct hydrogen from a nearby industrial facility for the initial testing of hydrogen blending.

Long Ridge said that the facility would support a balanced and diverse power generation portfolio due to its proximity to large-scale storage that accommodates seasonal fluctuations from renewable energy.

Recently, a hydrogen production and adoption model prepared in the U.K. suggested that hydrogen could solve its power storage issues. Electricity generated from offshore wind projects can be used to produce hydrogen by electrolyzing seawater. Hydrogen can be transported through pipelines and stored to produce more electricity later when renewable power generation dips, according to the study.

Hydrogen can also be used in industrial heating applications and transport. It could be one of the least-cost pathways to reducing carbon emissions. In July, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposed amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, to include safety evaluation standards for hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles.

Image credit: Kiewit