INNIO and Stadtwerke Kiel to make history with climate-neutral hydrogen cogeneration plant
The coastal power plant on the Kieler Förde inlet was commissioned in 2020. It is one of Europe’s most advanced large-scale engine cogeneration plants, with an overall efficiency of more than 92%. The highly flexible plant supplies more than 73,500 households with climate-friendly district heating while also generating electricity for the region. The transition from the previous coal-fired power plant to this flagship project equipped with 20 large-scale Jenbacher J920 FleXtra engines already has cut annual CO2 emissions by around 70% or 1 million metric tons - equivalent to the carbon emissions of about half a million cars. But more improvements are yet to come.
New standards in supplying climate-neutral energy
In early March 2023, INNIO and Stadtwerke Kiel signed an agreement to convert the 20 large-scale Jenbacher engines from running on natural gas to green hydrogen. As a result, the flexible, cutting-edge coastal power plant in Kiel will be completely climate neutral beginning in 2035, setting new global standards in supplying green energy. This represents another milestone in Stadtwerke Kiel’s “Eight-Point Program: Route to Climate Neutrality,” the utility company’s roadmap for accelerating the energy transition. The original target was to deliver fully climate-neutral electricity and district heating by 2040 at the latest. This date has now been brought forward by five years.
The timeline estimated by INNIO and Stadtwerke Kiel is now 10 years ahead of the German government’s climate targets. A key requirement for keeping to this ambitious schedule is that sufficient green hydrogen must be available in time and on economically viable terms. It is, therefore, now a matter of urgency for policymakers to swiftly and comprehensively implement the national hydrogen strategy adopted by the German government in summer 2020.
Jenbacher engines are hydrogen-ready
The technology for hydrogen-based energy supply is already in place: INNIO’s Jenbacher units are the first hydrogen engines on a MW scale, and the Tyrolean mechanical engineering firm is also among the first to be able to convert most of its installed fleet to run on green hydrogen. In fact, all new Jenbacher units are “Ready for H2,” meaning they can be converted to hydrogen operation in the future. As of 2025, the entire Jenbacher product portfolio is set to be rolled out for operation with 100% hydrogen.