The hydrogen-ready engines will serve renewable power systems
The hydrogen-ready engines will serve renewable power systems

Wärtsilä targets 2026 delivery for hydrogen power plant

Wärtsilä’s fully hydrogen-ready engine power plant – which is now in the certification and design phase – is expected to be available for orders in 2025 with delivery a year later.

The concept, based on the Wärtsilä 31 engine platform, has been initially certified by TÜV SÜD – whose H2-Readiness certification consists of three stages with three corresponding certificates.

The platform synchronises with the grid within 30 seconds from start command, ensures energy security through fuel flexibility and offers ‘unparalleled’ load following capabilities and high part load efficiency.

It has completed more than 1 million running hours, with over 1,000 megawatts (MW) installed capacity globally. The new engine power plant is a significant step beyond existing technology, which can run on natural gas and 25% volume hydrogen blends.

Anders Lindberg, President, Wärtsilä Energy, said we will not meet global climate goals or fully decarbonise our power systems without flexible, zero-carbon power generation, which can quickly ramp up and down to support intermittent wind and solar.

He said, “This is a major milestone for us as a company, and the energy transition more generally, as our hydrogen-ready engines will enable the 100% renewable power systems of tomorrow.”

“We must be realistic that natural gas will play a part in our power systems for years to come. Our fuel flexible engines can use natural gas today to provide flexibility and balancing, enabling renewable power to thrive.”

“They can then be converted to run on hydrogen when it becomes readily available: future-proofing the journey to Net Zero.”

The IEA World Energy Outlook 2023 shows that hydrogen is an essential component of our future power systems.

According to the report, the pathway to reach net zero emissions by 2050 requires 17 Mt of hydrogen to be consumed in power generation in 2030, reaching 51 Mt by 2050.

The deployment of renewables worldwide is set to double by the end of this decade, creating the right conditions for excess clean electricity to be used for production of hydrogen-based, carbon neutral fuels, and for enabling 100% renewable power systems.

Scaling up renewables alone, however, is not enough to reach global Net Zero targets.

Flexible power generation solutions, like engine power plants, are needed to balance fluctuating renewable energy sources. It is crucial that these solutions are futureproof and ready to run on sustainable fuels to fully decarbonise the energy sector.

The company is supplying a 48 MW peaking power plant to support the growing use of renewables in the UK.

The plant is expected to be fully operational early 2025 – operating with four Wärtsilä 31SG gas engines – and being delivered under an EPC contract with British energy services and solutions company Centrica Distributed Generation.

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