|Elements of BP’s Carson hydrogen power plant. Click to enlarge.|
BP and GE today announced their intention jointly to develop and deploy hydrogen power projects that dramatically reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from electricity generation.
The basic approach of the hydrogen power plant is to gasify a fossil-fuel feedstock, then use the resulting hydrogen-rich syngas as the fuel gas to generate electric power from turbines in a power plant. The considerable CO2 resulting from the process is captured, transported and sequestered in deep geological formations such as oil and gas fields—where it can enhance recovery.
BP and GE estimate that by combining hydrogen power generation with carbon capture and storage in one integrated project, 90% of the carbon dioxide in the fuel is captured so that it does not enter the atmosphere, thereby taking a substantial step towards tackling the climate change issue. Power generation accounts for some 40% of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.
Accordingly, BP and GE will collaborate on power, carbon capture and sequestration technologies.
Tomorrow’s energy mix will include hydrogen—and GE and BP are taking the lead in ensuring progress begins today. This initiative will demonstrate that our companies’ leading-edge technologies can make hydrogen production efficient, reliable, and economical for large-scale, commercial power production. Our financial strength will ensure it happens now globally, changing the way we envision our energy future.—David Calhoun, Vice Chairman of GE and president and CEO of GE Infrastructure
BP has already announced plans for two such hydrogen power projects with carbon capture and sequestration in Scotland and California, both of which will use GE technology. (Earlier post.)
Subject to appropriate regulatory and fiscal regimes being in place, and necessary due diligence, the companies have an ambition to progress 10 to 15 further projects over the next decade, including the plants in Scotland and California.
Subject to further exploration, the companies anticipate that the most appropriate structure may be through creation of a joint venture to invest in hydrogen power projects and a joint development agreement for development of related technology. As a first step, BP and GE would jointly participate in the two hydrogen power projects with carbon capture and sequestration BP has announced—Peterhead in Scotland and Carson in Southern California—where Scottish and Southern Energy and Edison Mission Energy are partners respectively.
The Carson plant will generate 500 megawatts (MW) of power from petroleum coke and capture about 4 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The CO2 will be transported and stored in deep underground oil reservoirs where it will enhance existing oil production.
The collaborative effort will draw upon the companies’ technologies and experience in areas such as coal gasification, reforming technology, gas turbines and carbon capture and storage.
The combination of coal gasification and carbon capture and sequestration is crucial for clean coal development and presents great opportunities for countries with substantial reserves of coal such as the USA, China and India.—Lewis Gillies, BP’s Director of Hydrogen Power