American energy technology company Baker Hughes and Italian energy infrastructure firm Snam today announced they have successfully completed testing of a hybrid hydrogen turbine designed for a gas network.
In what they claim to be the “world’s first” turbine of its kind, the test paves the way to implement adoption of hydrogen blended with natural gas in Snam’s current transmission network infrastructure.
The first time a gas infrastructure operator such as Snam has tested this type of turbine for its existing assets, the test took place at Baker Hughes’ facility in Florence, Italy with a Baker Hughes NovaLT12 gas turbine.
Set to be installed by 2021 at Snam’s compressor station in Istrana, in the province of Treviso, Italy, the turbine will not only help to compress and move hydrogen fuel blends through Snam’s transmission network of pipelines, but the turbine will simultaneously use the same fuel to power itself.
With an extensive transmission network, more than 41,000km globally, 70% of Snam’s pipelines are already built with hydrogen-ready pipes to help contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in Italy.
By blending 10% hydrogen into the total annual gas capacity transported by Snam, it is estimated seven billion cubic meters of hydrogen could be introduced into the network each year.
This amount is the equivalent to the annual gas consumption of three million families and represents a reduction of five million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Snam’s CEO Marco Alverà said, “With this new testing with Baker Hughes, we are taking a further step forward in the path of adapting our network to the transportation of hydrogen.”
“The infrastructure, as also highlighted in the Hydrogen Strategy recently presented by the European Commission, will be an enabling element in the development of clean hydrogen.”
“Hydrogen will be a pillar of the fight against climate change alongside renewable electricity and will potentially reach 20-25% of the global energy mix by 2050.”
“Thanks to its technologies, energy system and geographic position Italy will play a leading role in this environmental challenge, while also generating opportunities for local development and employment.”
Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman & CEO at Baker Hughes, commented, “The completion of this test represents an important step in defining the energy of the future.”
“The energy transition will increasingly need technology to be a critical enabler for success.”