KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Burns & McDonnell is supporting WEC Energy Group to test hydrogen as a fuel source at one of its reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) power facilities as part of a pilot program with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The demonstration project will test blends of hydrogen and natural gas to be used in a Wärtsilä RICE unit at a power plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
With a goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, WEC Energy Group hopes to understand more about whether hydrogen can be a viable solution for dispatchable carbon-free power generation.
“We’re excited to work with WEC Energy Group and EPRI on this pilot project,” says Megan Reusser, senior development engineer in the Energy Group at Burns & McDonnell. “The interest in hydrogen as an alternative fuel to meet decarbonization goals is a topic we’re constantly talking about and exploring with our customers and we’re eager to see the results of the study.”
As the power industry looks to decarbonize its generation fleet, converting existing plants to burn blended or pure hydrogen could help extend the lives of these critical assets well into the future and provide firm capacity and balancing power to support intermittent renewables.
“We have a long history and relationship with WEC Energy Group and look forward to continuing to support them as they transition toward their industry-leading clean energy goals and study blending hydrogen in their engines,” says Brian Elwell, business unit manager for reciprocating power at Burns & McDonnell.
Burns & McDonnell previously served as the EPC contractor for the generating units on which the tests are being conducted.
Learn more about the future role of hydrogen in a decarbonized power industry.
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