IPS to supply controls for world's first hydrogen power plant

Invensys Process Systems (IPS) has been selected by Enel to supply control and automation technology for the world's first hydrogen-fuelled power plant, to be constructed in Fusina, near Venice in the Veneto region of Italy. Enel is Italy's largest power company with more than 50 million power and gas customers and a presence in 21 countries.

The new facility, which places Enel and Italy at the forefront of technological innovation for environmentally compatible energy development, is part of the "Environment and Innovation Project," which envisages investments of 7.4 billion euros by 2012. The 40- million euro plant will be built next to Enel's existing coal-fired power station in Fusina and is being supported with 4 million euros from the local Veneto region, which is keen to establish a dedicated "hydrogen district" in the area.

"IPS is proud to be a partner in this historic, future-looking project. Our process and energy industry know-how, coupled with IPS technology and support services, allows us to help our clients deliver energy from renewable and environmentally friendly resources," said Paulett Eberhart, president and CEO of IPS. "We are confident that our unique service offerings and technical expertise will help Enel provide long-term benefits to the people and environment of Italy."

As part of the deal, the company will supply I/A Series automation and Triconex triple modular redundant safety controllers, as well as instrumentation and other site services.
"Enel have found in IPS a technical partner that is dedicated to providing the services and solutions not only to generate electricity, but also to reduce CO2 emissions," said Vittorio Panzeri, operations director of IPS Italy.

In the first phase of the project, a demonstration was conducted to verify that the existing 12-megawatt gas turbine would operate correctly with pure hydrogen as a fuel. The demonstration also provided data on the safety aspects and control technologies required for the efficient combustion of the gas. The goal of the second phase of the program is to optimise combustion technology, paying particular attention to nitrogen oxide emissions.

The final design of the plant has been completed, public and statutory permission for construction has been obtained, and the gas turbine has been chosen and ordered. The plant is expected to begin producing energy and be completely online by June 2010, serving 20,000 households.

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