Wärtsilä , in collaboration with WEC Energy Group (WEC), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and Burns & McDonnell (B&McD), are carrying out hydrogen fuel testing at the AJ Mihm power plant in Michigan, USA. The project supports WEC’s ambition to reduce CO2 emissions from its electric generating fleet by 60 per cent by the end of 2025, and by 80 per cent by the end of 2030 from 2005 levels, and to be net carbon zero by 2050.
The 55 MW plant currently operates with three Wärtsilä 50SG engines running on natural gas. The first stage will be to test fuel blends of up to 25 per cent by volume of hydrogen mixed with natural gas, to demonstrate the capability of the system. Wärtsilä claims that its engines can operate with this level of hydrogen-blend with little to no modification required.
One engine will be selected for the test programme, during which time it will continue to deliver power to the grid. Wärtsilä has already successfully carried out engine tests at its testing facilities in Vaasa, Finland and Bermeo, Spain.