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GE will look at what plant equipment needs to be modified so that the existing gas turbines can run on a hydrogen blend of up to 40%.

By Joseph Murphy

General Electric (GE) announced on March 29 it was assessing how Uniper's 1,365-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant on Grain island in south England could run on a blend of up to 40% hydrogen.

GE signed a cooperation agreement with Uniper in July 2020 to help the German utility decarbonise its gas-fired power generation. The assessment at the Grain facility will identify what equipment needs to be modified for the existing GT26 turbines to use a hydrogen blend.

“GE is continuing to advance our gas power technologies towards near zero-carbon power generation and part of this evolution involves the modernisation of existing combined-cycle power plants through the increasing use of emissions-friendly hydrogen in GE gas turbines,” Martin O'Neill, the vice president for strategy at GE Gas Power, said in a statement.

Investigating lower carbon options for gas turbines could help the power generation industry reduce its carbon emissions over the next decade and blending hydrogen with natural gas to lower carbon emissions is one of the options we’re exploring," Ian Rogers, who heads Uniper's Asset Improvement and Making Net Zero Possible project, added. 

Uniper is striving to make its European power generation carbon neutral by 2035.

"The assessment will provide us with the scope of the upgrade needed to support operation of up to 40% hydrogen by volume, while maintaining both plant economics and reliability," Rogers said.