Australian renewable energy developer H2U has chosen Baker Hughes NovaLT to supply gas turbine generators at its hydrogen and ammonia supply chain demonstrator in Port Lincoln. H2U won the $117.5 million greentech project last year in partnership with German-based thyssenkrupp.
Partially funded by $4.7 million in grants and $7.5 million in loans from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, the project will integrate new hydrogen technologies, including a 15MW electrolyser plant, a distributed ammonia production facility and a 10MW hydrogen-fired gas turbine and 5MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.
H2U CEO Attilio Pigneri says NovaLT’s generators were chosen because they can operate on 100 per cent hydrogen at all times.
“The annular combustor design and dual-shaft configuration will enable the unit to deliver a best-in-class black-start capability while still operating on 100 per cent hydrogen,” he says.
“We are impressed by the operating flexibility of the platform and its ability to operate at a low to no-load capacity, then ramp-up very quickly to full load.
“This means we can use the units to support critical loads within the Port Lincoln facility, while also contributing generation to the grid during periods of low wind or solar output. The hydrogen is also produced by the electrolysis plant on site, so we have a truly self-contained solution to firming renewable energy supply within the South Australia grid.”
Pigneri says the cost of hydrogen generated from electrolysis using cheap wind and solar energy is now comparable with the cost of natural gas in South Australia.
“The hydrogen and ammonia demonstrator at Port Lincoln is leading the Australian charge to a 100 per cent renewable hydrogen economy with strong export potential,” he says.
The project is due for completion in 2020 and will be one of the first commercial plants to produce carbon dioxide-free green ammonia, which can be used as an industrial fertiliser by farmers and aquaculture operator, from intermittent renewable resources.
Luca Maria Rossi, BHGE’s Chief Technology Officer of Turbomachinery Process and Solutions, says his company will work with H2U to ensure nitrogen oxide emissions are managed within applicable limits.
“South Australia is at the forefront of both renewable generation and hydrogen infrastructure developments and we are very pleased to be able to work with H2U to showcase our products in this important market,” he says.
The Port Lincoln facility is one of 21 projects to receive funding under the Renewable Technology Fund, which is designed to accelerate investment in the next generation of renewable technologies. Other projects include microgrids, virtual power plants, grid-scale batteries and pumped hydro projects.