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LPO Loan Commitments for Utah Hydrogen Storage Project

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The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office on Tuesday made a conditional commitment to provide up to $504.4 million in loan guarantees for the massive Advanced Clean Energy Storage hub in Utah.

Why is this important: The project aims to develop 100 metric tons of green hydrogen per day, which would then be stored in two huge salt caverns, each capable of storing 150 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy. In short: gigantic, long-lasting energy storage.

The details: Conditional loan guarantees were was made for Advanced Clean Energy Storage I, Mitsubishi Power Americas, Magnum Development and Haddington Ventures.

  • The hub, announced in 2019, “is in the final stages of debt and equity closing,” Mitsubishi said.
  • Haddington Ventures – a financial adviser to the hub and an equity sponsor of Magnum Development – ​​is securing an additional $650 million through its equity syndication program.

Driving the news: The hub, if successful, will supply hydrogen to the renewed IPP project, an 840 megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant being built by the Intermountain Power Agency.

  • The project developers hope the plant will operate on a 30%/70% mixture of hydrogen and natural gas from 2025, and switch to 100% hydrogen by 2045.

By the numbers: The project, if successful, promises to be hundreds of times larger than today’s largest energy storage projects in the United States.

  • Moss Landing in California has a capacity of 400 MW and can store 1,600 megawatt hours (MWh), according to data provided by American Clean Power.
  • The Manatee Energy Storage Center in Florida has storage capacity of 409 MW and can contain 900 MWh.
  • The Blythe and McCoy energy storage projects in California each have a capacity of 230 MW and can store 920 MWh.

Between the lines: By supporting the hydrogen hub, the DOE hopes to help drive down the cost of green hydrogen.

Yes and: The Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden in November, includes $8 billion for regional clean hydrogen centers.

What they say : The project provides a potential response to seasonal imbalances in renewable energy production. The Intermountain Power project, for example, typically has too much renewable energy in the spring – forcing grid operators to cut production – and too little other times of the year.

  • “Advanced Clean Energy Storage would convert this excess renewable energy into hydrogen which can be stored until needed, LPO Director Jigar Shah said in a statement. “This will help balance supply and demand seasonally and further stabilize the network.”