Edison inaugurates power station running on hydrogen/gas mix
PORTO MARGHERA, Italy, June 16 (Reuters) - Italian energy group Edison on Friday inaugurated an innovative power station near Venice which reduces harmful emissions, using hydrogen mixed with natural gas.
As Italy tries to reduce pollution, generating electricity from hydrogen is seen by the government as a promising alternative for a country that currently produces more than 50% of its power by burning coal, oil and natural gas.
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Edison, the Italian unit of French electricity group EDF , has invested around 400 million euros ($438 million) to turn an existing plant in Porto Marghera into the new thermoelectric station with an installed capacity of 780 megawatts (MW).
It will have an energy efficiency score of 63%, the highest for a power station in Italy.
The facility can reduce specific emissions of nitrogen oxides by up to 70% and carbon by up to 30% compared to the current average of the Italian thermoelectric park, Edison said.
"The new plant of Marghera is a tangible proof of how different technologies can work towards the common goal of decarbonisation to ensure security of energy supply and economic sustainability," said Edison CEO Nicola Monti.
A new turbine made by Italy's Ansaldo Energia will allow the plant to produce electricity by mixing hydrogen with gas.
With a total of 7.2 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity distributed across the country, Edison covers 7% of Italy's electricity production.
It has an investment plan worth 10 billion euros by 2030, half of which is dedicated to expanding renewable energy. ($1 = 0.9132 euros) (Reporting by Giancarlo Navach; writing by Francesca Landini, editing by Gavin Jones and David Evans)