Edison inaugurates hydrogen-ready power plant

Ansaldo Energia’s turbine capable of handling up to 50% hydrogen

Italian energy group Edison said its new lower-emissions gas power station near Venice is capable of running on a hydrogen-gas mix. (Image: Reuters)

Italy’s Edison inaugurated a new 780-MW Marghera Levante natural gas combined cycle power plant. The company described the facility as “the most efficient thermoelectric power plant in Italy and among the most efficient in the world.”

Edison pointed in particular to the presence of the GT36 turbine, which results in the plant being able to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by up to 70% and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 30% compared to the current average of the Italian thermoelectric fleet. The new turbine is also technologically ready for the use of hydrogen mixed with natural gas, the company said.

The 515-MW Class H turbine was supplied by Ansaldo Energia. According to a separate press release by Ansaldo, the turbine is technologically ready to handle blends of up to 50% hydrogen. A fact sheet about the GT36 turbine released by the company in late 2022 shows that it can be used for blends of up to 70%, and Ansaldo is now working on being able to handle 100% hydrogen. The GT36 turbine contains a 15-stage axial compressor with four variable guide vanes.

As well as the GT36 turbine, the Marghera Levante power plant includes a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with a catalytic system for the reduction of nitrogen oxides (SCR) inside, and a 265-MW steam turbine (TVB).

Edison, the Italian unit of French electricity group EDF, invested around US$438 million to transform an old plant into a new thermoelectric facility in Porto Marghera, an industrial hub overlooking the Venice lagoon.

Development of the plant involved overhauling the existing thermoelectric power plant at the site. Edison said this process included the dismantling of gas turbines TG3 and TG4, which had been installed in 1992, heat recovery steam generators GVR3 and GVR4, steam turbine TV1 and steam generator B2. The plant’s structure was also rationalized, reducing the number of chimneys from five to three.

The new plant will have an energy efficiency score of 63%, representing the highest for a power station in Italy.

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