September 16, 2020 Read More →

Frontier Energy launches three year, $10.8 million green hydrogen pilot project in Texas

Power:

A California energy company is collaborating with its parent and the University of Texas on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project to show that renewable hydrogen can be a cost-effective fuel with several applications, including for both the transportation and power generation sectors.

Frontier Energy, headquartered in San Ramon, California, and a subsidiary of Illinois-based GTI Energy, on Sept. 15 announced the launch of the project, known as [email protected] in Texas and Beyond. The effort is supported by the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, along with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). [email protected] includes two initiatives, one at the University of Texas-Austin (UT-Austin), and the second at the Port of Houston. [email protected] is the latest of several hydrogen-related activities announced in recent months in support of research and development of the rapidly expanding hydrogen fuel sector.

Energy analysts have said hydrogen will be a $130 billion business in the U.S. by 2030, and could develop into a trillion-dollar business globally. A recent industry study said hydrogen projects already have created more than 500,000 new jobs worldwide. China is reportedly investing $17 billion into hydrogen technology, including about $8 billion to develop hydrogen fuel cells for heavy-duty trucks. Germany in June announced a $9 billion investment in hydrogen research as part of a COVID-19 stimulus package.

The $10.8 million Texas project is expected to continue for three years. Half the funding has been committed to demonstrating how hydrogen production and use can enable power grid resiliency, and promote job creation, among other things.

The UT-Austin campus will host a first-of-its-kind integration of commercial hydrogen production, distribution, storage, and use. The project partners said they will generate zero-carbon hydrogen onsite via electrolysis with solar and wind power, and reformation of renewable natural gas from a Texas landfill. It is the first time that both sources of renewable hydrogen will be used in the same project. The hydrogen will power a stationary fuel cell to provide power for the Texas Advanced Computing Center at UT-Austin. It also will supply a hydrogen station with fuel for a fleet of Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicles.

[Darrell Proctor]

More: DOE-backed hydrogen project underway in Texas

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