Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc. (Mitsubishi Power) and El Paso Electric (EPE) have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) creating a collaboration framework 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 with a combination of renewables, storage and power generation using hydrogen to meet the growing demand for clean, affordable and reliable electricity.
The JDA will develop strategies and alternatives to attain an 80% carbon-free resource mix by 2035 and develop a roadmap to achieve a 100% carbon-free energy mix to meet EPE’s future customer needs by 2045, all in a manner that provides a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply to EPE’s customers. The JDA will focus on
- Developing a hydrogen vision and roadmap for EPE to generate carbon-free energy across its overall power generation fleet
- Developing a strategy to convert EPE’s Newman Power Station’s newest unit from being fueled by 100% natural gas generation to a blend of up to 30% hydrogen, then to eventually being fueled by 100% hydrogen for carbon-free power generation
- Supporting the resource planning process with the integration of hydrogen and carbon-free resources
- Evaluating future regional transportation, commercial and other industrial sector coupling opportunities to promote decarbonization and economic growth
“El Paso Electric is committed to advancing innovative technologies and customer-focused strategies to serve our communities in a reliable, affordable, sustainable manner,” said Kelly A. Tomblin, President and CEO, El Paso Electric. “Consistently, we have announced the goal of 80% carbon neutrality by 2035 and the pursuit of 100% by 2045. Signing this joint development agreement will support those important goals.”
EPE has demonstrated this commitment by becoming the first utility in Texas and New Mexico to eliminate coal generation from its energy mix 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 while improving reliability from our energy generation portfolio. We will engage additional partnerships to pursue other initiatives that will spur economic growth for our region,” Tomblin added.
In January 2021, as part of EPE’s commitment to a cleaner and more sustainable power generation, EPE selected Mitsubishi Power’s 228 megawatt (MW) Smart M501GAC enhanced response (SmartER) gas turbine. This gas turbine will enable EPE to triple its renewable energy portfolio, maximize responsiveness to the intermittency of renewables with rapid dispatch capability, and reduce carbon emissions. The gas turbine is also hydrogen capable for deeper decarbonization in the future.
Paul Browning, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Power Americas, said, “We have 25 years to decarbonize electric power, which makes us all part of ‘The Power Generation.' We believe that during the energy transition, utilities will need total decarbonization solutions that leverage multiple technologies. That’s why we’re excited about entering into a JDA with El Paso Electric to collaborate on long-term planning, technology, integration, implementation and support for their journey toward a carbon-free power generation and energy storage mix. Together with our customers, we are creating a Change in Power.”