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NYPA To Participate In New York’s Exploration of Green Hydrogen

July 13, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
July 13, 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 8 said that New York plans to explore the potential role of green hydrogen as part of the state’s decarbonization strategy.

To support this effort to study green hydrogen and its possible applications, the state is collaborating with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), joining two hydrogen-focused organizations to inform state decision-making and making $12.5 million in funding available for long duration energy storage technologies and demonstration projects that may include green hydrogen.

Additionally, the New York Power Authority, collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute, General Electric and hydrogen supplier Airgas, will undertake an industry-leading green hydrogen demonstration project at NYPA’s natural gas plant on Long Island to evaluate the resource’s potential role in displacing fossil fuels from power generation.

At the close of this short-term project, peer-reviewed results will be shared with the industry and public so that key learnings can inform decarbonization efforts. The announcement supports Cuomo’s goal to reduce emissions 85 percent by 2050, as outlined in the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

Green hydrogen — hydrogen produced using renewable energy — has the potential to decarbonize challenging sectors of the economy, Cuomo’s office noted.

As part of the state’s efforts to assess green hydrogen’s potential role in economy-wide decarbonization efforts, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is leading a stakeholder engagement effort to gain and share knowledge and understanding of the support this resource could provide for meeting the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals across multiple sectors. The stakeholder engagement began in December 2020 at a deep decarbonization workshop co-hosted by NYSERDA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 

A more comprehensive and ongoing approach will begin with an additional workshop and listening session being planned for this fall. The session will be used to help NYSERDA understand how to expand stakeholder engagement to ensure that additional assessment of the pathways, opportunities, and challenges of generating and utilizing green hydrogen across all sectors includes consideration of all stakeholder perspectives, including environmental justice organizations and communities. 

The state’s approach to understanding and exploring the potential role green hydrogen can play in achieving the Climate Act goals include:

New York Hydrogen Strategy Study

NYSERDA will launch a hydrogen strategy study in conjunction with NREL, to compile the foundational, base-line information and data that will enable New York to have robust discussions and dialogue around the role green hydrogen could play in New York’s decarbonization plans.

This strategy study will place a particular focus on opportunities surrounding green hydrogen to align the State’s hydrogen strategy with the existing mandates for 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040. Building on relationships with NREL and the United States Department of Energy, NYSERDA will benefit from local, regional, national, and global insights on the evolution of green hydrogen to help guide State direction and decision making. 

NYPA Green Hydrogen Demonstration Project

A NYPA-led, first-of-its-kind demonstration project will investigate the potential of substituting renewable hydrogen for a portion of the natural gas used to generate power at NYPA’s Brentwood Power Station on Long Island.

The project team will evaluate different concentrations of hydrogen blended with natural gas at regular intervals and will assess the blend’s effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its overall system and environmental impacts, including nitrogen oxide emissions. The project will begin in fall 2021 and is expected to last six to eight weeks. 

The plant, which consists of a GE LM-6000 combustion turbine currently fueled by natural gas, was commissioned in the summer of 2001 to increase local power generation capacity for Long Island and New York City in anticipation of potential summer power shortages. GE has more than 6 million operating hours and more than 30 years of experience using hydrogen and other similar low-BTU fuels.

NYPA will lead the project with collaboration from partners including EPRI, GE, Sargent & Lundy, Airgas, and Fresh Meadow Power. EPRI will assist with the project design and technical evaluation. As the gas turbine original equipment manufacturer, GE will supply a state-of-the art hydrogen/natural gas blending system and support the project’s planning and execution. Sargent & Lundy, acting as the engineer of record for the project, will provide overall engineering and safety reviews. Airgas is the supplier of renewable hydrogen and Fresh Meadow Power will provide piping system design, material procurement and installation services for the project.  

Participation in National and Global Hydrogen-Focused Groups 

To ensure New York State is at the forefront of hydrogen safety, NYSERDA has joined the Center for Hydrogen Safety, a global community of more than 75 government, industry and national lab participants supporting and promoting hydrogen safety and best practices worldwide across industrial and consumer applications in the energy transition. As a member, NYSERDA will have direct access to global safety best practices on hydrogen, training courses and materials, and a safety panel of experts available for specific demonstration project safety reviews. 

Joining the HyBlend Collaborative Research Partnership

NYSERDA has also joined the HyBlend Collaborative Research Partnership, which is comprised of six national labs and fifteen university/industry partners co-led by NREL and Stony Brook University. This national partnership will generate a database to allow New York to assess the use of existing infrastructure for hydrogen and to develop general principles of operation of blended hydrogen/natural gas delivery systems. 

Long Duration Energy Storage Program  

Finally, NYSERDA will encourage product development and demonstration projects in energy storage that is six-plus hours in duration, otherwise known as long duration energy storage, by making up to $12.5 million in funding available through its Renewable Optimization and Energy Storage Innovation Program.

Project submissions should advance, develop, or field-test hydrogen, electric, chemical, mechanical, or thermal-electric storage technologies that will address cost, performance, and renewable integration challenges in New York State. Submissions must only include innovative long duration energy storage technologies which are yet to be commercialized. Awards will be made for the following project categories: early studies, product development, multi-stage, demonstration projects and federal cost-share. 

Proposals will be accepted in three rounds through June 2022.

Additional details for this solicitation are available on NYSERDA’s website, including proposal submission requirements. 

APPA hydrogen report

The American Public Power Association (APPA) recently released a report that provides a perspective on where the emerging hydrogen market is in the U.S. and globally, what is driving the growing interest in hydrogen and what obstacles are preventing hydrogen technology from being able to scale-up.

The report’s author, Patricia Taylor, Senior Manager, Regulatory Policy and Business Programs at APPA, discussed the report in a recent episode of APPA’s Public Power Now podcast.

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