green hydrogen

A consortium of municipal-owned utilities in the US states of Utah, Nevada and California has selected Black & Veatch to transition to green hydrogen.

Intermountain Power Agency will leverage solutions from Black & Veatch to decarbonize and transform the energy mix of its members.

IPA is a consortium of 23 Utah municipalities that own electric utilities and six rural electric cooperatives.

As part of the Intermountain Power Renewal Project, Black & Veatch will help the agency to install a combustion turbine technology designed to use a high percentage of green hydrogen. The two hydrogen-powered combined units are the agency’s first and will help curb carbon emissions.

Black & Veatch will also support expansion of existing switchyards, new HVDC converter stations, and conversion of the two existing 900MW generators into synchronous condensers.

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In addition, Black & Veatch is assisting IPA with project execution, system studies, technology selection, design, procurement and construction.

The IPP Renewal Project includes the development of long-duration hydrogen storage in geologic salt caverns that are adjacent to the power plant, which would result in a fully dispatchable resource capable of providing highly reliable and resilient power on demand.

The plant will generate power with advanced thermal efficiencies across its full operating range and is being designed with high flexibility that will allow it to quickly ramp up and down in response to California’s challenging “duck curve.” Whether dispatched for base load power, to follow load and renewable generation swings, or in response to long-duration energy storage needs that far exceed current battery capabilities, the IPP Renewal Project will help support the transforming energy mix in the western United States.

Previously, Black & Veatch designed IPA’s original coal-fueled IPP in the early 1980s. IPA plans to retire the coal-fueled facility and replace it with an 840MW natural gas-fueled combined cycle power plant in 2025.

The two combustion turbine combined cycle units will blend 30% green hydrogen at start-up, with plans to increase hydrogen utilization to 100% hydrogen by 2045.

Brian Sheets, a project manager with Black & Veatch’s power business, said: “As with many utilities today, our client needed to bring in an engineering company with the technical expertise and industry experience to tackle a project of this size and magnitude.

“Using renewable energy in the form of green hydrogen will help California meet its zero-carbon state goals for 2045. The location in central Utah is also significant because the local geology provides the capability to store excess hydrogen in large underground caverns, and existing regional transmission infrastructure will serve as a hub for collecting and transporting renewable energy to southern California. The IPP Renewal Project will help lead the way to a carbonless future.”

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“This project advances Black & Veatch’s strategic focus on decarbonization in the power industry, which includes innovation in low carbon fuels such as hydrogen for competitive carbon reduction,” said Mario Azar, President of Black & Veatch’s Global Power Business. “Advancement of green hydrogen as a decarbonization solution further complements our deep capabilities to deliver transformative greenhouse gas reductions through renewable energy, distributed generation, advanced nuclear power engineering, carbon capture utilization, and transmission grid optimization.”