Mitsubishi Power eyeing green hydrogen hub in U.S.

By Jack Burke11 May 2021

Project would store hydrogen in salt caverns in Utah

Mitsubishi Power Americas is exploring the possibility of developing a green hydrogen hub in the Western United States.

The company and Magnum Development are already developing the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project, an initiative to develop 1000 MW of 100% clean energy storage in central Utah. The companies have been invited by the U.S. Department of to submit an application for up to US$595 million under the Title 17 Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program to develop a proposed green hydrogen hub in Delta, Utah.

The green hydrogen hub is part of a broad effort to support decarbonization efforts across the western U.S. The DOE program finances projects that accelerate commercial deployment of innovative energy technology that avoids, reduces, or sequesters greenhouse gas or air pollutant emissions.

The green hydrogen hub at the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project would interconnect green hydrogen production, storage and distribution in the West. Green hydrogen — which is hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources — will support decarbonizing multiple industries including power, transportation, and manufacturing.

Haddington Ventures, the financial advisor for the project and equity sponsor of Magnum Development, will submit the Part II Application this summer.

If successful, the project will enter due diligence for the potential loan guarantee. Additionally, Haddington Ventures is responsible for interfacing with the DOE as well as managing the Equity Syndication Program (ESP) to provide construction capital on behalf of the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project.

If the project reaches loan closing, debt financing from the DOE would support construction of the green hydrogen hub, which ultimately targets building more than 1000 MW of electrolysis facilities capable of producing more than 450 metric tonnes per day of green hydrogen. The hydrogen would be stored in the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project’s salt caverns, which are natural geological formations providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective bulk storage of hydrogen. The massive salt formation is adjacent to the Intermountain Power Project near Delta, Utah, with transmission interconnections to major demand centers and significant renewable energy resource opportunities in the region.

The project’s salt caverns will be capable of holding more than 5500 metric tonnes of hydrogen. From an energy storage perspective, one cavern holds the equivalent of 150 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of carbon-free dispatchable energy and/or decarbonized fuel that can be used in other industries. By comparison, a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2020 report estimates the current installed base of battery energy storage across the U.S. at 1.2 GWh. Therefore, using salt caverns for energy storage is a significant opportunity to expand energy storage resources throughout the U.S. and further supports the increased build-out of renewable energy.

“Together with our partner Magnum, we have been planning and developing the world’s largest renewable energy storage project for several years,” said Paul Browning, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas. “We would welcome the Department of Energy’s support to help us realize utility-scale green hydrogen production, storage, and distribution to decarbonize power and other industries throughout the western U.S.”

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