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Libertad Power Project sets ambitious goal for New Mexico hydrogen plant

May 24, 2021


A team of veteran energy developers is putting the building blocks in place to potentially convert San Juan County, N.M., into a “hydrogen hub” to supply clean electricity to western utilities, plus non-carbon fuel for vehicles and industrial processes.

Libertad Power Project LLC says it could have its first hydrogen-fueled generating station up and running in the Farmington area by 2024 — far faster than any other commercial project currently under development in the U.S. And once operating, the power plant would provide the initial anchor for building out a broad production-and-storage center that could attract industrial partners to condense and liquify Libertad’s Made-in- New-Mexico hydrogen for transport to customers across the nation.

The team began exploring alternative energy projects in the Four Corners in 2014, as pressure to shut down coal plants in New Mexico and elsewhere was gaining momentum, said Joseph Merlino, one of three managing partners on the six-member Libertad team. They initially considered building a combined-cycle natural gas plant, but later saw the potential for local hydrogen production and generation.

“We saw immense potential in San Juan County as an optimal location to supply hydrogen-based generation and clean fuel for other hydrogen-based industries, and we’ve aggressively pursued it,” Merlino told the Journal. “The project has now grown into what we call a local hydrogen economy, or hub, anchored by clean power generation in the San Juan Basin.”

[Kevin Robinson-Avila]

More: San Juan County, N.M., Aims to Become a Hydrogen Energy Hub

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