In a major move towards clean energy, Duke Energy is set to make history with the first demonstration project in the United States, aimed at creating clean energy using an end-to-end system to produce, store, and combust 100% green hydrogen. The ambitious project will be situated in DeBary, Florida, at Duke Energy Florida's DeBary plant in Volusia County.
This groundbreaking initiative is the result of a collaborative effort between Duke Energy, Sargent and Lundy, and GE Vernova. The project has been met with enthusiasm and support from the local community, and Duke Energy Florida's state president, Melissa Seixas, expressed gratitude to the city for embracing this innovative technology.
The unique system, set to begin construction later this year, will utilize the existing 74.5-megawatt DeBary solar plant to provide clean energy for two 1-megawatt electrolyzer units, which will separate water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen atoms. The oxygen will be safely released into the atmosphere, while the green hydrogen will be stored in reinforced containers. During peak energy demand, the stored green hydrogen will be utilized in a combustion turbine (CT) that has been upgraded using GE Vernova technology to run on a natural gas/hydrogen blend or even up to 100% hydrogen. Notably, this marks the nation's first CT operating with such a high percentage of hydrogen.
The operational features of this green hydrogen system are designed with reliability, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impact in mind. It offers quiet and safe energy generation and storage while optimizing on-site solar generation. Furthermore, it ensures access to on-demand, dispatchable energy and serves as a comprehensive technology demonstration that could potentially provide a cost-effective solution for decarbonization.
From an environmental perspective, this project boasts zero greenhouse gas emissions, and it achieves the production of 100% green hydrogen from solar energy. As Duke Energy explores the immense potential of hydrogen in the clean energy landscape, Regis Repko, Senior Vice President of Generation and Transmission Strategy for Duke Energy, underlines the significance of hydrogen in decarbonizing various sectors of the U.S. economy. Hydrogen, being a clean energy source with long-duration storage capabilities, is poised to play a pivotal role in ensuring grid reliability as renewable energy sources become more integrated into the system.
Hydrogen's distinguishing feature as a dispatchable energy source, readily available on demand, will provide the flexibility needed to accommodate intermittent energy sources, such as solar and wind. This ensures grid reliability, even during extended periods of high demand, a critical factor in safeguarding future electric systems.
Construction of this pioneering demonstration project is expected to commence later this year, with a completion timeline of about one year. Duke Energy anticipates that the system will be fully operational and installed by 2024. As the project unfolds, Duke Energy is clearly at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of clean energy innovation, setting a precedent for sustainable solutions in the energy sector.
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, is poised to make a significant mark in the realm of clean energy as it embarks on a pioneering project in DeBary, Florida. This venture, situated at Duke Energy Florida's DeBary plant in Volusia County, is set to become the first demonstration project in the United States to create clean energy through an end-to-end system for producing, storing, and utilizing 100% green hydrogen.
Duke Energy Florida is a key player in the energy sector, boasting an impressive energy capacity of 10,500 megawatts, and it reliably supplies electricity to a vast customer base of 1.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial consumers across a sprawling 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.
The parent company, Duke Energy, is a Fortune 150 corporation headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and ranks among the largest energy holding companies in the United States. With electric utilities serving 8.2 million customers spanning North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, and a collective energy capacity of 50,000 megawatts, Duke Energy is a powerhouse in the industry. Additionally, its natural gas unit extends its service to 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky, supported by a dedicated workforce of 27,600 employees.