Kurt Lötscher, Senior Manager
RWE, the leading German power producer, chooses Ansaldo Energia H-class GT36 turbine as part of the company’s decarbonization and energy transition plan. RWE has signed a contract with the consortium formed by Ansaldo Energia and Técnicas Reunidas for the construction of a hydrogen- ready combined cycle power plant.
Ansaldo Energia is to supply the entire power island, the heart of the plant, which includes a GT36 gas turbine and related generator, a steam turbine and related generator, HRSG, condenser, and auxiliary systems. Ansaldo Energia's GT36 is already capable today to operate with a blend of 50%vol hydrogen thanks to its unique sequential combustion system, with the potential to upgrade to 100% hydrogen.
The planned new plant with a capacity of 800 MW and an efficiency of 62% will be built on RWE’s existing site in Weisweiler, near Cologne. Currently, there are four lignite-fired steam power plants in Weisweiler, which have to be closed under the German Coal exit law. The planned CCGT will thus help to power Germany while reducing climate-changing emissions. RWE will take the final investment decision for the planned CCGT after Germany has finalized the regulatory framework to ensure economic viability for H2 ready gas fired power plants that the country is currently working on and after all necessary permits are received. According to current planning, this could be the case in 2025. To start implementation as soon as the framework conditions in Germany are right, the companies will start immediately to prepare the permitting processes. The plant could then start producing electricity by the end of the decade.
“This is the first GT36 turbine that could be installed in Germany. It is a great honor and privilege to be selected by one of the leading European utilities to be part of the country's decarbonization process” says Fabrizio Fabbri, CEO Ansaldo Energia. “We are supplying our top-of-the-range engine with its unmatched operational flexibility, particularly in view of the unique sequential combustion to burn already today 50%vol hydrogen to support RWE in its ambitious plan to increase low-emission energy production”.