Southern California Edison Requests Regulatory Approval for Hydrogen-Fueled Power Generation with CCS
17 May 2007
|The Clean Hydrogen Power Generation process. Click to enlarge.|
Edison International’s electricity utility Southern California Edison (SCE), has requested state regulatory approval to conduct the nation’s first feasibility assessment of Clean Hydrogen Power Generation (CHPG) in a full-scale, 600 MW commercial generating facility.
SCE’s CHPG will gassify coal to produce hydrogen, capture and sequester (CCS) about 90% of the carbon dioxide resulting from the process, and burn the hydrogen in a combined cycle generating system. This is conceptually the same approach that will be taken by the new BP-Rio Tinto company, Hydrogen Energy. (Earlier post.)
The technologies in SCE’s proposed study are being considered or tested in clean coal projects elsewhere. The SCE plan would be the first assessment of a full-scale, 600-MW facility using all of them. It is an effort to advance the technology of low-emission power generation using coal.
Edison believes that if California and the nation are to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants while increasing power supplies using domestic fuels, companies like ours must take the lead exploring the feasibility of these advanced technologies.—John Bryson, Edison International Chairman
SCE is seeking authorization to commit $52 million of revenues it collects from customer rates during a two-year period to an advanced technology feasibility study. If approved, this would represent less than a quarter of one percent of current customer rates.
In the CHPG process, a gasifier converts coal and water to a syngas, which undergoes additional processing to remove sulfur, mercury and carbon dioxide. The CO2 is sequestered in underground geologic formations. The hydrogen gas is piped to gas turbines for power generation. Exhaust heat form the turbines is used to create steam and drive additional turbines, resulting in maximum power-generation efficiency.
Southern California Edison is one of the US’ largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.
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