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FLExibilize combined cycle power plant through power-to-X solutions using non-CONventional FUels

Project description

Innovative power-to-X-to-power solutions

The use of alternative carbon-free fuels in existing power plants and a high penetration of renewable energy sources into the grid are required in order to meet EU 2030 and 2050 climate and energy goals. As such, combined-cycle gas turbine plants represent a crucial technology with the required flexibility to compensate for the intermittency of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The EU-funded FLEXnCONFU project will develop innovative, economical, viable and replicable power-to-X-to-power solutions to be integrated to existing and new power plant to level the load, and to un-tap their flexibility, converting electricity into hydrogen or ammonia to be in turn locally re-used in the same power plant to respond to varying demand, thus reducing time their environmental impact. A 1MW scale power-to-hydrogen-to-power system will be integrated in a real operational environment in Portugal (EDP’s Ribatejo power plant) while a small-scale power-to-ammonia-to-power solutions will be coupled with a mGT properly modified to burn ammonia in Savona Smart Microgrid laboratory.


Natural gas (NG) fired Combined Cycle (CC) power plants are currently considered the most flexible power plants to operate in the EU grid to facilitate RES penetration. They changed their role in the EU electric market from the backbone of EU electrical grid to providing most of regulation services necessary to increase the share of non-programmable renewable sources into the electrical grid. In order to enhance their flexibility and also start to sell flexibility/ancillary services (also considering potential virtual aggregation), GT Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Utilities are investigating new strategies and technologies for power flexibility, also considering that a “fuel switch” is close foreseen from coal to NG among most used fossil based dispatchable power plants and that the role of CC will be of “RES best friends” at least up to 2030. In this sense reducing their emission is also a strong need of GT R&D panorama promoting the exploitation of different fuels than Natural gas only. FLEXnCONFU aims to demonstrate at TRL7 in Ribatejo EDPP CC Power Plant a Power-to-gas-to-power (P2G2P) solution that will enhance CC flexibility (thus enabling them to provide grid flexibility services and getting higher revenues), reduce their NG consumption and therefore their related emission. The P2G2P system will be based on a Power-to-Hydrogen solution developed by HYGS+ICI, while a Power-to-ammonia-to-power solution developed by PROTON and ICI will be demonstrated in a properly modified microgas turbine operating in a UNIGE laboratory within the Savona Smart Microgrid (TRL6). The P2G2P solution will be directly controlled by a grid driven/responsive management system developed by MAS. GT combustion acceptability of different NG/H2/NH3 mixtures will be studied in CU labs. FLEXnCONFU will be a demonstration to market project and upscale and replication of the demonstrate P2H/P2A will be studied (in ENGIE and TP CC plants) and properly promoted by ETN.

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Net EU contribution
€ 502 600,00
16129 Genova

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Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 718 000,00

Participants (21)