July 27, 2020 Read More →

NextEra Energy planning its first green hydrogen project

Greentech Media:

NextEra Energy is closing its last coal-fired power unit and investing in its first green hydrogen facility.

Through its Florida Power & Light utility, NextEra will propose a $65 million pilot in the Sunshine State that will use a 20-megawatt electrolyzer to produce 100 percent green hydrogen from solar power, the company revealed on Friday.

The project, which could be online by 2023 if it receives approval from state regulators, would represent the first step into green hydrogen for NextEra Energy, by far the largest developer and operator of wind, solar and battery plants in North America.

“We’re really excited about hydrogen, in particular when we think about getting not to a net-zero emissions profile but actually to a zero-emissions carbon profile,” NextEra Energy CFO Rebecca Kujawa said on Friday’s earnings call. “When we looked at this five or 10 years ago and thought about what it would take to get to true zero emissions, we were worried it was extraordinarily expensive for customers,” Kujawa said.

“What makes us really excited about hydrogen — particularly in the 2030 and beyond timeframe — is the potential to supplement a significant deployment of renewables [and energy storage]. That last amount of emissions you’d take out of the system to get down to zero could be most economically served by hydrogen.”

The green hydrogen produced by Florida Power & Light’s electrolyzers would be used to replace a portion of the natural gas that’s consumed by the turbines at FPL’s existing 1.75-gigawatt Okeechobee gas-fired plant, Kujawa said. The electricity will come from solar power that would otherwise have been “clipped,” or gone unused. If the hydrogen economy scales up and green hydrogen becomes economic, Florida Power & Light would likely retrofit some of its gas facilities to run wholly or partially on hydrogen, Kujawa said.

[Karl-Erik Stromsta]

More: NextEra Energy to build its first green hydrogen plant in Florida

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