Channel Island Power Station gets hydrogen-capable mobile aeroderivative gas turbine

Channel Island Power Station
Channel Island Power Station (Image: Territory Generation)

Northern Territory electricity producer Territory Generation has ordered a GE trailer-mounted, hydrogen-capable TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine for its Channel Island Power Station near Darwin.

The 22MW unit will help to further stabilise the Darwin-Katherine interconnected system, which serves communities and businesses across areas including Darwin, Palmerston, Berry Springs, Katherine, and the Cox Peninsula. The unit is compatible with the incoming Darwin-Katherine battery energy storage system and will support the integration and growth of renewables in the Northern Territory.

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“Territory Generation sought technology to modernise our current fleet that struggles to meet changing grid demands and low power system loads. We plan for the TM2500 to be the first of multiple units to be deployed over the next five years as existing units near their end of life,” Territory Generation CEO Gerhard Laubscher said.

“At this stage, the TM2500 generator’s operational flexibility makes it the best fit to firm up the growing renewables base in the Northern Territory.”

While the Australian Government has committed to building a hydrogen industry in Australia, with hydrogen a priority technology under its Technology Investment Roadmap, the Northern Territory requires stable and reliable power systems to maintain and grow Territory communities and encourage investment. The Northern Territory Government has recently released its Hydrogen Masterplan and Darwin-Katherine System Plan, which highlight the importance and need for agile generators and the potential for renewable hydrogen industry to support the Territory’s target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.

GE’s TM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine

The TM2500 gas turbine generator sets can run on different fuel sources to allow plant operators to use the least expensive and most readily available fuel, with expanding fuel capability to meet their needs over time. High concentrations are allowed with the Single Annular Combustor (SAC) configuration, up to 75 per cent by volume of hydrogen when blended with natural gas. This capability varies depending on the type of combustion system used. GE is working on expanding this capability through testing in its combustion laboratory.  

“GE Gas Power has been powering Channel Island Power Station since its 1986 commissioning, as well as the neighbouring Weddell Power Station, and we are proud that, once again, our technology met Territory Generation’s project requirements and timeline,” GE Australia president Sam Maresh said.

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“We are focused on delivering reliable, stable, cost-effective energy that supports energy providers, like Territory Generation, to assist with developing a hydrogen supply chain and transitioning Australia to a lower carbon future”.

GE’s TM2500 is derived from jet-engine technology powering the world’s airlines and is mounted on a wheeled trailer for ultimate mobility. As a fast power unit, the TM2500 is capable of starting in five minutes with a ramp rate of at least 20MW per minute, subject to local requirements.