March 11, 2021 Read More →

Washington utility moves forward with 5MW green hydrogen demonstration project

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Heralded as one of the largest green hydrogen projects in the U.S., Douglas County PUD No. 1 on March 8 broke ground on a 5-MW hydrogen generation and storage pilot project in central Washington state that will harness excess hydropower from the Columbia River and convert it into renewable hydrogen.

The initial, roughly $20 million project, scheduled for completion later in 2021, will rely on the public utility district’s Wells hydroelectric facility to supply electricity to create hydrogen through the process of electrolysis, using a machine purchased from Cummins Inc. for roughly $9.5 million.

The utility will store the hydrogen in tanks and then deliver it by truck to customers, the first of which is the Pacific Northwest’s inaugural hydrogen refueling station on Interstate-5.

“We are building this as a pilot in hopes that, if it takes off, we will continue to produce hydrogen here, even more hydrogen potentially in the future than the 5 MW and 2 tons [of hydrogen] a day that the initial production site will be capable of producing,” Gary Ivory, the PUD’s general manager, said at a groundbreaking event.

Known as the Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Project, it is one of a host of projects underway around the world to generate hydrogen with renewable energy rather than natural gas, the feedstock most commonly used to produce hydrogen today. Among those is another Northwest project in Eugene, Ore., involving Northwest Natural Holding Co. and the Eugene Water & Electric Board.

The Douglas County PUD is prepared to expand the facility to more than 20 MW if the first phase proves successful, according to utility spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert.

[Garrett Hering]

More ($): Public utility in Washington state breaks ground on green hydrogen project

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