Case study

Industry: Commercial and industrial coal-fired power plant

ISSUE

Increasing demands for decarbonization and possibility of biomass power generation

As 120 countries, global corporations, and other organizations across the world announce their commitment to carbon neutrality, coal-fired power is facing increasingly strong headwinds due to its heavy emissions of CO₂, a major greenhouse gas. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy-related CO₂ emissions in 2021 were the highest on record. More than 40% of the increase in emissions came from CO₂ produced by burning coal, causing increasingly critical eyes to be directed toward the decarbonization efforts of coal-fired power plants. Projects to build new power plants and renewable energy use require significant investments of capital, as well as time to obtain all the necessary approvals, causing many coal-fired power plants to have second thoughts about decarbonization. For this reason, a growing number of power plants are searching for ways to continue using their existing equipment, albeit with renewables. Among the various possibilities, biomass power generation is attracting interest as a means to decarbonize with immediate effect.

SOLUTION

KEY POINTS TO THE SOLUTION

  • Uses biomass, which is attracting attention as an immediately effective means to decarbonize
  • Uses existing equipment to contribute to the introduction of biomass combustion with minimal investment and construction times
  • One-stop support alleviates any concerns related to the use of biomass

Biomass attracting attention as an immediate decarbonization measure

As renewable energies continue to expand, biomass power generation is positioned as a high-output and stable flexible power source. From the perspective of attaining carbon neutrality, it is seen as an immediately effective means to decarbonize. For example, with a power output of 110 MW and a co-firing ratio of 30%, annual CO₂ emissions can be reduced by approximately 230,000 tons compared to exclusively burning coal.

30% biomass co-firing reduce co₂ emissions
30% biomass co-firing reduce co₂ emissions

30% biomass co-firing reduce co₂ emissions

Uses existing equipment to contribute to biomass use with minimal investment and construction times

Mitsubishi Power makes effective use of existing, coal-firing equipment when converting plants for biomass-exclusive or high-biomass-ratio combustion. Doing so enables the introduction of biomass combustion while keeping conversion costs and construction periods to a minimum. In the simplest program, conversion work is carried out solely on and around the pulverizers. Having conducted detailed on-site surveys and with a firm grasp of the biomass pulverization and other characteristics, we propose ideal pulverizer conversion plans that take into account to minimize the impact on annual operating rates.

Image of existing coal-fired plant
Image of existing coal-fired plant

Image of existing coal-fired plant

One-stop support alleviates any concerns related to the use of biomass

With our top level technology that accommodates everything from mixed-fuel combustion with small introduction of biomass to biomass-exclusive combustion, Mitsubishi Power has a strong track record of converting coal-fired power plants to biomass use across the world. As a leading biomass usage company, we handle the entire process, starting from developing a conversion plan that accommodates the customer’s desired co-firing ratio, output, and efficiency, to the on-site construction-regardless to any plant manufacturer. We carry out detailed on-site surveys when introducing biomass combustion and propose optimal power plant operation for our customers while alleviating any concerns with biomass use. In addition, with our core technology of pulverizers and burners that exhibit the same level of performance as established coal-fired plants, we contribute to stable plant operation, even after the conversion. As decarbonization initiatives get ever stricter, we contribute to maximizing the value of power plants-a key management resource.

EXPECTED OUTCOME

  • The use of biomass made possible with existing equipment and minimal investment
  • Improved reputation through the increased use of renewable energies used
  • Reduced shutdown-related losses for fuel conversion work

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