The US Department of Energy (DOE) closed on a $504.4 million loan guarantee to Mitsubishi Power Americas and Magnum Development for the Advanced Clean Energy Storage I project, the world’s largest industrial green hydrogen facility. The project, which is located in Millard County, Utah, was announced in 2019 and is currently in its final stages of debt and equity closing.
The loan guarantee is the first for a new clean energy technology project from DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) since 2014, and it will help finance construction of the facility. The project is expected to create up to 425 jobs and will advance President Biden’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 through clean energy deployment, as well as replacing a retiring coal-fired power plant.
“The Advanced Clean Energy Storage team, with its world-class industry partners, is excited to secure this loan by DOE to develop the first phase of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen energy hub,” said Michael Ducker, senior vice president of Hydrogen Infrastructure for Mitsubishi Power Americas and President of Advanced Clean Energy Storage I. “This step creates a path to accelerate the long-term hydrogen market and clean energy landscape to expand decarbonization across the United States.”
The facility will combine 220 MW of alkaline electrolysis with salt cavern storage for grid scale energy conversion and storage using hydrogen as the energy carrier. The clean hydrogen will be stored in two massive 4.5-million-barrel salt caverns. Advanced Clean Energy Storage will capture excess renewable energy when it is most abundant, store it as hydrogen, then deploy it as fuel for the Intermountain Power Agency’s (IPA) IPP Renewed Project, a hydrogen-capable gas turbine combined cycle power plant that is planned to be incrementally fueled by 100% clean hydrogen by 2045.
The plan is to use the stored hydrogen as fuel for a hybrid 840 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant that will replace the retiring 1,800 MW coal-fired power plant. The project is estimated to help prevent 126,517 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually based on the difference in the emission profiles of the IPP turbines between 100% natural gas fuel to a 70% natural gas and 30% hydrogen fuel blend.
“Since President Biden’s first day in office, DOE has made it a priority to leverage the potential of the Loan Programs Office to fund emerging technologies that will deploy clean and reliable energy to Americans,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Accelerating the commercial deployment of clean hydrogen as a zero-emission, long-term energy storage solution is the first step in harnessing its potential to decarbonize our economy, create good paying clean energy jobs and enable more renewables to be added to the grid.”
As of the end of May, the Loan Programs Office has attracted more than 70 active applications for projects in 24 states totaling nearly $79 billion in requested loans and loan guarantees. With the closing of this loan guarantee, LPO now has $2.5 billion in remaining loan guarantee authority for Innovative Clean Energy projects. Since early 2021, LPO has made substantial changes to improve its Innovative Clean Energy Loan Guarantee Program and its Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program. For more on the projects supported go to the LPO portfolio project web page.
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So basically, we loose 1GW of grid power generation, while storing massive amounts of a highly volatile gas (more volital and dangerous than natural gas). We also lose nearly 49% of the clean energy produced by converting it to hydrogen and then back to electricity.
Looks like a lot of wasted energy to produce political appearance of doing something good while severely reducing available grid power.
A more simple and cost effective measure would be to use the “clean energy” (derived by dirty manufacturing and environmentally damaging mining) as the energy is produce and use the coal plant at reduced generation for the off-peak clean energy production periods. Saves the same, or more CO2 from the atmosphere (needed by trees and other plants to breath), and it is less dangerous.
Here’s an alternative approach to H2 production that’s quite interesting. I can’t see why you couldn’t get the input energy from PV rather than concentrating solar.
The allure of the thermochemical hydrogen approach is that you can use cheap thermal storage ($2 to $4/kWh-thermal ) to allow for 24/7 plant operation.
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