General Electric (GE) has announced the latest customer pilot project utilising its gas turbine technology will power Australia’s first dual-fuel capable natural gas/hydrogen power plant at the Tallawarra B Power Station in New South Wales.
EnergyAustralia has ordered one of GE’s 9F.05 gas turbines to power the Tallawarra B Power Station to help enhance the reliability of the energy grid and help ensure NSW energy consumers have continued access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable power prior to the closure of the Liddell coal-fired 1,680-megawatt (MW) plant located in the Hunter Valley region in 2023.
The power plant will operate with high operational flexibility as a ‘peaker’ plant – firing up rapidly when needed to stabilise the power grid during demand peaks – and it will utilise partial loads of hydrogen to decrease its emissions footprint.
“Our new open-cycle, hydrogen and gas capable turbine will provide firm capacity on a continuous basis and paves the way for additional cleaner energy sources to enter the system,” said Catherine Tanna, Managing Director of EnergyAustralia.
“We are leading the sector by building the first net-zero carbon emissions hydrogen and gas capable power plant in NSW.”
The 316 MW Tallawarra B Power Station will be built in consortium with the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company Clough and will be adjacent to EnergyAustralia’s existing Tallawarra A 435 MW gas plant, located on the western shore of Lake Illawarra in the suburb of Yallah.
With the forthcoming closure of the Liddell coal-fired 1,680 MW power station, the Federal Government called on the private sector to identify alternative solutions to deliver up to 1,000 MW of dispatchable power to ensure a reliable transition to a lower-carbon energy future.
The NSW Government and Australian Government contributed AU$83 million to support the financial close and support the use of hydrogen. Under the funding agreement signed on May 3, EnergyAustralia will offer to buy green hydrogen up to 5 per cent of the plant’s fuel use from 2025 and offset direct carbon emissions from the project over its operational life.
EnergyAustralia will also invest in engineering studies examining upgrades for Tallawarra B so that it can use more green hydrogen in its fuel mix in the future.
Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, said NSW’s Energy Security Target is the tightest reliability target in the country and this project will help make sure it is achieved even after Liddell has closed.
“This project sets a new benchmark for how gas turbine technology can be consistent with NSW’s plan to be net-zero by 2050 by using green hydrogen and offsetting residual emissions,” he said.
CEO of GE Power, Scott Strazik, said GE is leading a decade of action to decarbonise the power industry, and their latest pilot project at the Tallawarra B Power Station demonstrates the substantive role that gas technologies can play in reducing carbon emissions, ensuring reliable electrical supply, and fighting climate change.
“We are honoured to work with EnergyAustralia to provide our hydrogen-ready gas turbine technology for this project. Once in operation at Tallawarra plant, this will be GE’s first 9F unit to operate on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas globally,” Mr Strazik said.
Tallawarra B will be the first large-scale gas-powered power station built in NSW in more than 12 years, and the first project to use GE’s advanced 9F.05 gas turbine – its most advanced F-class technology for 50 Hz applications – in Asia.
GE will also supply an A78 generator, an exhaust stack with an innovative Plume Dispersion Device, a generator step-up transformer, and the Mark* VIe control system and gas turbine accessories packaged in modules for the project to help reduce on-site installation work.
The Tallawarra project is expected to contribute AU$300 million to the economy and create 250 jobs during construction.
*Trademark of General Electric Company.