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Mitsubishi Power, El Paso Electric inks JDA for carbon-free energy mix by 2045

Paul Browning (left), President and CEO of Mitsubishi Power, and Kelly Tomblin, President, and CEO of El Paso Electric, sign a joint development agreement

Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc. (Mitsubishi Power) and El Paso Electric (EPE) have announced that it has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) that creates a framework for collaboration to jointly develop projects that will enable EPE to achieve its clean energy goals. The JDA extends EPE's commitment to reducing carbon emissions by replacing carbon-intensive assets through a combination of renewable resources, storage, and power generation with the use of hydrogen to meet the growing demand for clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.

The JDA will develop strategies and alternatives to achieve an 80 percent carbon-free resource matrix by 2035 and develop a roadmap for achieving a fully carbon-free energy matrix to meet the future needs of EPE's customers by 2045, all to provide them with energy. safe, reliable, and affordable. The JDA will focus on:

  • develop a hydrogen vision and roadmap for EPE to generate carbon-free energy across its overall power generation fleet;
  • develop a strategy for EPE's newest Newman Power Station unit to be fully powered by a natural gas generation with a compound of up to 30% hydrogen and later 100 percent hydrogen to generate carbon-free energy;
  • support the resource planning process with the integration of hydrogen and carbon-free resources;
  • assess future regional opportunities for transportation, trade, and other opportunities to connect with the industrial sector to promote decarbonization and economic growth.

"El Paso Electric is committed to promoting innovative technologies and customer-centric strategies to reliably, affordably, and sustainably serve our communities," said Kelly A. Tomblin, President, and CEO of El Paso Electric. " To that end, we announced the goal of achieving 80 percent carbon neutrality by 2035, with the ultimate goal of 100 percent by 2045. Signing this joint development agreement will help us achieve these important goals."

EPE has already demonstrated this commitment by becoming the first utility in the US states of Texas and New Mexico to eliminate coal-fired generation from its energy matrix in 2016.

"Our JDA with Mitsubishi Power will establish a powerful partnership that will focus on identifying, developing, and executing projects to reduce overall carbon emissions and increase the reliability of our power generation portfolio. We will forge more partnerships to implement other initiatives that will stimulate economic growth in our region," added Tomblin.

In January 2021, as part of the company's commitment to a cleaner and more sustainable power generation, EPE selected Mitsubishi Power's Smart M501GAC enhanced response (Smart M501GAC, SmartER) enhanced response gas turbine, with 228 megawatts of capacity. This gas turbine will allow EPE to triple its renewable energy portfolio, maximize responsiveness to intermittent renewable resources with rapid dispatch potential, and reduce carbon emissions. The gas turbine can also be powered with hydrogen to further extend decarbonization in the future.

Paul Browning, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas, commented: " We have 25 years to decarbonize electricity, which makes us all part of 'The Power Generation'. We believe that during this energy transition, utilities will need total decarbonization solutions that employ a variety of technologies. That's why we consider the celebration of a JDA with El Paso Electric so promising to collaborate on long-term planning, technologies, integration, implementation, and support for its path to carbon-free energy generation and composite energy storage. Together with our customers, we are creating a "Change in Power ". 

Author : Moulin Oza
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