Downtown Fernandina’s Eight Flags Energy Combined Heat & Power Plant
DOVER, Del. – Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) announced February 22, 2022 that it successfully blended hydrogen with natural gas to power the Company’s Eight Flags Energy Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Nassau County, Florida [located in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island].
In a strategic effort to actively support and expand the sustainability efforts of the communities it serves, Chesapeake Utilities is working to develop lower carbon energy sources. The CHP facility provides a unique opportunity to assess the feasibility and operating characteristics of blended hydrogen and natural gas in a contained and closely monitored industrial setting.
The Eight Flags CHP hydrogen test program was intended to refine the operational practices and requirements for safe transportation and injection of hydrogen into a distribution system. The Company is currently validating the achieved emissions reduction at the CHP plant. In conjunction with Solar Turbines, the manufacturer of the Eight Flags gas turbine, the Company also is assessing the use of the hydrogen blend on the operations of the turbine and other associated CHP equipment.
Chesapeake Utilities’ Marlin Gas Services unit transported hydrogen to the Chesapeake-owned distribution system at the CHP site. An interconnect point was modified and isolated from other distribution customers, receiving the hydrogen directly from the specialized Marlin tankers. The hydrogen was blended and delivered to the CHP facility through existing steel service mains.
Prior to testing, Chesapeake Utilities received an updated air permit to operate with a blend of hydrogen. Minor modifications at the CHP plant were completed to enable the turbine to run on a 4% hydrogen blend. The existing turbine is scheduled for a routine change-out this year; the replacement turbine will have the capability to operate with a higher percentage of hydrogen.
Chesapeake Utilities serves numerous industrial customers in both its Florida and Delmarva market areas. Its large-volume customers are increasingly evaluating how to better manage their carbon emissions. Chesapeake sees a number of opportunities to support customers of all types and sizes as they pursue lower carbon energy options. Hydrogen, along with renewable natural gas, conservation, carbon capture and other emerging technologies, will ultimately provide customers with increased sustainable energy choices.
“Natural gas has been the obvious choice for years; blending hydrogen with natural gas provides even lower carbon impacts without sacrificing the qualities that make natural gas a desired industrial fuel choice,” said Jeff Householder, president and CEO. “Additionally, many industrial customers are served by dedicated mains or metering and regulation facilities where hydrogen delivery interconnections can be easily constructed. At most industrial customer sites, at least on our systems, you can also find an interconnect location that can be accessed by a hydrogen tanker truck.”
The Eight Flags CHP hydrogen blend test project provides real-world operational data that will help demonstrate the practical use of hydrogen blended natural gas in an industrial application. Chesapeake Utilities’ interest in hydrogen began with assisting our larger customers in lowering their carbon footprints. Providing hydrogen blended fuel; offering technical assistance and operational training; and investing in equipment at customer sites are several of the Company’s goals focused on customer satisfaction and retention.
About Eight Flags Energy Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant
Eight Flags Energy, LLC, provides electricity and steam generation services through a combined heat and power (CHP) plant on Amelia Island, Florida, serving approximately 50% of Amelia Island’s demand for electricity. The CHP plant produces electricity, steam and water with less air pollutants and water usage than alternative production methods, meeting an 80% efficiency target and cutting overall energy consumption in half. The Southeastern Electric Exchange, Inc. (SEE) recognized the CHP plant as a 2017 Industry Excellence Award winner in the Production category.
Two Chesapeake Utilities Corporation subsidiaries, Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU) and Peninsula Pipeline Company (PPC), provide the natural gas to produce three energy sources: electricity, steam and water. Rayonier Advanced Materials purchases the steam and heated water for use in its cellulose specialties production facility. FPU purchases the electricity for distribution to its retail customers in the area, which yields cost-savings and increased reliability.
About Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy delivery company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which is engaged in natural gas transmission and distribution; electricity generation and distribution; propane gas distribution; mobile compressed natural gas utility services and solutions; and other businesses. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s businesses is available at www.chpk.com.
SOURCE: Chesapeake Utilities Corporation news release 2-22-2022
Note that Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is not affiliated with Chesapeake Energy, an oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK.