July 19 (Renewables Now) - US utility American Electric Power Co Inc (NASDAQ:AEP) will pilot Mainspring Energy’s multi-fuel Linear Generator in Oklahoma, the latter announced on Tuesday.
The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the pilot project, the goal of which is to provide important real-world system experience.
California-based Mainspring has developed a generator that can run on hydrogen, ammonia, biogas, renewable natural gas and other widely available gaseous fuels. The technology relies on software-based control to switch between the fuels automatically.
AEP seeks to evaluate various potential grid-side use cases for this generator, including the placement of scalable generation in load pockets to delay or avoid transmission/distribution upgrades; right-sized, just-in-time capacity that can dynamically switch between multiple fuels; accelerated electrification of infrastructure such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations; and utility-supplied clean resiliency to AEP customers.
"Modular resources that can scale with the utility and its customers, while easily transitioning from the available low-carbon fuels of today to cleaner fuel sources of tomorrow, are critical to enabling the transition to net zero carbon," said Mainspring chief commercial officer Jim Dawe.
Last month, Mainspring Energy announced that its technology had passed key tests directly running 100% hydrogen and 100% ammonia fuels at high efficiencies. The company aims to deliver a UL-certified model of the generator in 2023.