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Integration of Hydrogen and Synthetic Natural Gas within Legacy Power Generation Facilities


Whilst various new technologies for power generation are continuously being evaluated, the owners of almost-new facilities, such as combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants, remain motivated to adapt these to new circumstances and avoid the balance-sheet financial impairments of underutilization. Not only are the owners reluctant to decommission the legacy CCGT assets, but system operators value the inertia and flexibilities they contribute to a system becoming predominated with renewable generation. This analysis therefore focuses on the reinvestment cases for adapting CCGT to hydrogen (H2 ), synthetic natural gas (SNG) and/or retrofitted carbon capture and utilization systems (CCUS). Although H2 , either by itself or as part of SNG, has been evaluated attractively for longer-term electricity storage, the business case for how it can be part of a hybrid legacy CCGT system has not been analyzed in a market context. This work compares the power to synthetic natural gas to power (PSNGP) adaptation with the simpler and less expensive power to hydrogen to power (P2HP) adaptation. Both the P2HP and PSNGP configurations are effective in terms of decarbonizations. The best results of the feasibility analysis for a UK application with low CCGT load factors (around 31%) were obtained for 100% H2 (P2HP) in the lower range of wholesale electricity prices (less than 178 GBP/MWh), but in the higher range of prices, it would be preferable to use the PSNGP configuration with a low proportion of SNG (25%). If the CCGT load factor increased to 55% (the medium scenario), the breakeven profitability point between P2HP and PSNGP decreased to a market price of 145 GBP/MWh. Alternatively, with the higher load factors (above 77%), satisfactory results were obtained for PSNGP using 50% SNG if with market prices above 185 GBP/MWh.

Funding source: This work was supported in part by the (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades/Agencia Estatal de Investigación/Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, Unión Europea) under Project RTI2018-096108-A-I00 and in part by the University of Castilla-La Mancha under Grant 2021-GRIN-30952.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Spain

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