Energy provider Wien Energie has revealed that the company will be conducting a three-month operational trial which will see hydrogen being added to the energy mix at the Austrian Donaustadt power plant based in Vienna, Austria. The trial will be carried out on an SGT5-4000F gas turbine – the main type of turbine supplying electricity markets in the country.
To begin with, 5% hydrogen will be used at the combined-cycle gas turbine to phase out natural gas. Wien Energie will gradually increase the percentage of hydrogen up to an estimated 15% between now and the middle of September 2023.
By introducing hydrogen into the mix, project partners anticipate that up to 33,000 tons of CO2 produced by plant operations could be reduced each year. Furthermore, if the hydrogen test is successful, the system may be certified for continuous use. In a future trial, a hydrogen mix up to 30% might be implemented.
The operational test is claimed to be the first of its kind on a commercial gas and steam turbine plant, and for the project, Wien Energie’s commercial partners RheinEnergie, Siemens Energy and Verbund invested a total of €10m. Further funding has been applied for from the climate and energy fund through the Flagship Region Energy program.
“The world’s first hydrogen operation test at our Donaustadt power plant is a special milestone in the future use of green gases in large power plants,” said Michael Strebl, chairman of the Wien Energie management board. “With our cross-border cooperation, we are providing decisive impetus for the energy transition throughout Europe.”
At present, the Donaustadt plant generates 350MW of heat and up to 395MW of electricity annually, with an operational efficiency of 86%. By 2030, the ICIS has estimated that the total hydrogen demand in Austria could rise to 9.6TWh/year, and by 2050 it will reach 30.65TWh/year, causing a supply shortfall of up to 21.8TWh/year.