GE and Long Ridge Energy Terminal, a subsidiary of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC has announced a successful first step to transition Long Ridge’s power plant toward firing hydrogen. Following the start of commercial operation in October 2021, the plant conducted a successful demonstration using a hydrogen-blended fuel in GE’s HA gas turbine at the Long Ridge 485 MW combined-cycle power plant located in Hannibal, Ohio. The hydrogen blending test was completed on 30 March this year at the facility using hydrogen produced as by-product from a nearby industrial facility.

“This is a profound achievement … our Hannibal power plant is the first GE H-class plant worldwide in commercial operation to blend hydrogen successfully and we will continue to work with GE to lead the deployment of utility-scale hydrogen solutions and sustainable energy storage,” said Bo Wholey, president of Long Ridge Energy Terminal.

The plant is powered by a GE 7HA.02 gas turbine, which can burn between 15-20% hydrogen by volume in the gas stream initially and is expected to have the capability to utilize up to 100% hydrogen over time. For the demonstration, GE provided an integrated system – GE’s H2 Integrated Fuel Blending System – to allow an initial blending of 5% hydrogen by volume and natural gas to demonstrate the capability. The blended fuel was injected to the combustion system of the gas turbine, and further upgrades will allow the power plant to utilise higher percentages of hydrogen subject to fuel availability and economics.

The facility plans to produce hydrogen onsite and is considering the use of below-ground salt formations for large-scale hydrogen storage. In this way, the plant will be able to support a balanced and diverse power generation portfolio in the future and make use of an overall energy storage capability ranging from accommodating seasonal fluctuations related to renewable power.