With the state of New York’s goal to have a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040—and NYPA’s own VISION2030 goals of emissions curbing—a test demonstration was devised to study impacts on operability and emissions while operating on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The Brentwood Small Power Plant was the staging ground to vet the changes power plants need to operate on this zero-carbon fuel.
GE joined the demonstration project, lending decades of experience and curiosity. Together with NYPA and EPRI, GE focused efforts on Brentwood’s LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine, measuring the impacts of the hydrogen fuel blend on plant performance with an eye toward a sustainable and reliable future energy system.
NYPA is leading the way by piloting new approaches to accelerate New York State’s energy transition. Decarbonizing the power sector will require a collaborative, multi-pronged approach, including the use of renewable power. Today, NYPA is pleased to share the results of our joint hydrogen study with the industry, so that our key findings might illuminate the future of decarbonization.
New York Power Authority, Interim President & CEO
Justin E. Driscoll
NYPA has announced the results of a first-of-its-kind green hydrogen demonstration project. NYPA and GE jointly conducted a hydrogen blending test at NYPA’s Brentwood Power Station in Long Island. The effort aligned with NYPA’s strategic VISION2030, but primarily studied the parallels of efficiency and sustainability under these conditions.
GE assisted in building a state-of-the art hydrogen/natural gas blending system for the demonstration. And, with the site using an LM6000, GE was enthusiastic to contribute decades of innovation in using H2 and low-BTU fuels. In further collaboration with EPRI, and Airgas (an Air Liquide company), it was one of the first retrofits of a U.S. natural gas powered plant that saw green hydrogen blended with natural gas to generate electricity—to specifically look at impacts to operability and emissions.
At 45 MW, the Brentwood plant consists of a GE LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine, equipped with single annular combustion (SAC) technology which uses water injection and a SCR for NOx control. While NYPA and many power companies use hydrogen for cooling, firing blends of 5% – 44% (by volume) green hydrogen and natural gas helped identify and document the impacts on the LM6000’s outlet emissions (specifically CO2, NOx, CO). Ultimately, the demonstration saw that carbon emissions decreased as the fraction of hydrogen in the fuel increased.
But what do these results mean for the modern power industry? With minor modification, an LM6000 could operate on blends of H2 and natural gas for some 20% CO2 emission reduction. Hydrogen cofiring could allow turbines to operate across a wider load range with fewer CO oxidation catalysts—lowering CapEx, OpEx, and allowing cleaner energy to be produced at lower costs.
It’s a daunting puzzle, but the world needs to solve its energy crisis—and GE is adding its POV and experience to a net-zero tomorrow.