WEC Energy Group has announced it is leading a pilot project to test hydrogen as a fuel source for power generation in Michigan.
As part of the pilot, hydrogen and natural gas will be mixed up to a 25/75% blend to power one of the generating units that serves customers of Upper Michigan Energy Resources, a Subsidiary of WEC Energy Group.
The units use a technology called RICE, reciprocating internal combustion engines, manufactured by technology firm Wärtsilä.
Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman, WEC Energy Group said: “We’re pleased to take a leading role in testing hydrogen in our modern natural gas-fuelled generation units.
“As we bring more renewable energy online, we must ensure that we can keep the lights on when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. The potential of adding hydrogen as a clean generating fuel to our fleet of dispatchable plants is an important step as we bridge to a bright, sustainable future.”
The project supports the company’s ambition for net zero emissions from electric generation by 2050 and net zero methane emissions from natural gas distribution by 2030.
WEC Energy Group is partnering with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which will lead the technical implementation of the project and share results to further educate the energy industry about how hydrogen can be used for power generation and support emissions reductions.
EPRI CEO Arshad Mansoor added: “Demonstration projects like this one are critical to advancing clean energy technologies needed to meet net zero goals.
“This project will provide key insights on how this could be replicated throughout the country, providing energy companies with a suite of solutions to reduce carbon emissions. We look forward to working with WEC Energy Group and other energy stakeholders throughout the clean energy transition.”