The recently launched H2@Scale project is integrating a number of elements necessary for the commercial-scale integrated production and use of renewable hydrogen. Hosted by the University of Texas at Austin (www.utexas.edu) and funded through the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) program at the U.S. Department of Energy, the H2@Scale project involves nine industry partners, including Frontier Energy Inc. (San Ramon, Calif.; www.frontierenergy.com), GTI, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Shell, SoCalGas, Toyota Motor North American, Air Liquide and others.
The project represents a first-of-its-kind integration of commercial H2 production, distribution, storage and use. Project partners will generate zero-carbon H2 onsite via electrolysis (powered by solar and wind), and reformation of renewable natural gas from a Texas landfill. It is first time that both sources of renewable H2 will be used in the same project, H2@Scale leaders say.
“Each of the individual hydrogen-related technologies already exists,” explains Nico Bouwkamp, H2@Scale project manager at Frontier Energy. “But with this project, we are taking a systematic approach to tying everything together and demonstrating that the cost of H2 energy can be lowered by connecting it to multiple sources and uses.”
H2 produced from the project will power a stationary fuel cell to provide clean, reliable power for the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and will also supply a H2 station with zero-emissions fuel for a fleet of Toyota Mirai fuel-cell electric vehicles.
The H2@Scale project also involves a feasibility study at the Port of Houston that will investigate scaling up H2 production and use. According to project statements, the study team will assess available resources, prospective H 2 users and delivery infrastructure, such as existing pipelines that supply H2 to petroleum refineries along the Gulf Coast. The study will examine policies, regulations and economics to help industry partners develop a strategic action plan for policymakers that enables heavy-duty fuel cell transportation and energy systems.