BP plans hydrogen power

BP and Edison Mission Group have announced plans to collaborate on a $1 billion hydrogen-fuelled power plant in California.


BP and Edison Mission Group (EMG) have announced plans to collaborate on a $1 billion hydrogen-fuelled power plant in California.



The new design of plant would be located alongside BP’s Carson refinery, about 20 miles south of Los Angeles, and would be capable of producing 500 megawatts of power, enough to serve 325,000 Southern California homes, with minimal CO2 emissions.



BP and EMG hope to complete detailed engineering and commercial studies in 2006, finalise project investment decisions in 2008 and bring the new power plant online by 2011. The agreement comes at a time when state power agencies are predicting power shortages for Southern California in the coming years.



Petroleum coke produced at California refineries would first be converted to hydrogen and CO2 gases and around 90 percent of the CO2 captured and separated. The hydrogen gas stream would be used to fuel a gas turbine to generate electricity. The captured CO2 would be transported by pipeline to an oilfield and injected into reservoir rock, releasing previously unreachable oil and permanently trapping the CO2.



The costs of hydrogen power are higher than those of traditional power plant fuels. As a result, the project will depend, in part, on incentives provided in the US Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 for advanced gasification technologies.