Los Angeles wants to build a hydrogen-fueled power plant. It’s never been done before

By Sammy Roth | Los Angeles Times Link to article

The coal-burning Intermountain Power Plant outside Delta, Utah, produced nearly one-fifth of Los Angeles’ electricity supply in 2018. It’s scheduled to close by 2025.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

As Los Angeles weans itself off the last of its coal-generated electricity, the city needs to replace that fuel with a climate-polluting natural gas plant in Utah, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power staff insisted Tuesday.

But they also pledged the facility would eventually burn renewable hydrogen instead of natural gas — something that has never been done before.

Following pressure from climate change activists, DWP laid out its most detailed timeline yet for transitioning from planet-warming gas to clean-burning hydrogen at a new facility that would replace the coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant. If the utility succeeds, the Intermountain plant could become a model for governments and power companies around the world.

“There is no way to get to 100% renewable energy that I can see right now without hydrogen in the mix. It doesn’t exist,” DWP General Manager Marty Adams told the utility’s board of commissioners on Tuesday.

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