Portuguese company to build 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility in California


From pv magazine USA

Fusion Fuel, a modular solar-to-hydrogen specialist based in Portugal, and Electus Energy, a hydrogen infrastructure developer, have signed a deal to jointly build a 75 MW green hydrogen facility in Bakersfield, California.

The proposed project is a solar-to-hydrogen site that would make use of Fusion Fuel’s proprietary HEVO hydrogen electrolyzer technology. It said the facility, its first in the United States, would produce up to 9,300 tons of hydrogen fuel per year to fuel heavy-duty trucks.

Fusion Fuel’s HEVO technology features a miniaturized electrolyzer, fixed to the back of concentrated solar power (CSP) panel. It uses PV electricity and thermal energy. The technology also uses dual-axis trackers to follow the sun throughout the day.

“By integrating the HEVO directly to the CPV module, not only are we able to utilize the electrical energy to power the electrochemical reaction without transport or conversion losses, but we can also recover that wasted thermal energy and use it to pre-heat the feed water, reducing the electrical load required to split water by roughly 10%,” said Fusion Fuel.

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The companies will invest about $180 million to launch the 75 MW project. They aim to make a final investment decision in early 2024, with project commissioning scheduled for early 2025. Once operational, the project will provide enough hydrogen fuel to support more than 1,000 Class 8 trucks or buses per day.

Electus Energy has been actively developing hydrogen mobility solutions in the southwestern United States by cultivating relationships with prospective offtakers in the logistics and distribution sector. The partnership with Fusion Fuel could mark the beginning of a “hydrogen highway” vision for the region, linking California to Texas through a chain of green hydrogen fueling stations.

“Bakersfield will be the first anchor project of our U.S. strategy, which is heavily focused on the hydrogen mobility and logistics opportunity and envisions a hydrogen highway from California to Texas,” said Jason Baran, chief commercial officer at Fusion Fuel. “While our HEVO-Solar technology is best suited for markets with high solar irradiance, the expected introduction in 2024 of our newest product – HEVO-Chain – will make the entirety of North America part of our addressable market.”

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