US start-up Electric Hydrogen (EH2) has revealed the first firm sale of its unique 100MW electrolysis system — three months after announcing a new 1.2GW gigafactory in Massachusetts.
The modular turnkey system — which includes the world’s largest electrolyser (100MW) and all the necessary balance-of-plant equipment such as power conversion and water management — has been bought by New York-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) specialist New Fortress Energy (NFE) for a green hydrogen project in Texas.
California-based EH2 will produce the electrolyser at its new facility in Devens, Massachusetts, with the balance-of-plant modules fabricated in Texas.
It is the first specific order announced by EH2, although its CEO, Raffi Garabedian, stated in May that the company had a “backlog of customer orders to fulfill”, without giving further details.
EH2 has been backed by several high-profile investors, including Amazon, Rio Tinto, Equinor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the billionaire-led climate-tech venture founded by Microsoft magnate Bill Gates.
The start-up has not revealed the technical or chemical make-up of its electrolyser, nor any pictures of it, merely stating that it has been designed “from the ground up”.
Garabedian told US news channel CNBC in January 2022 that he wouldn’t share details of the chemical technology for fear of giving away trade secrets.
Every mainstream electrolyser company is building much smaller modular machines that can be combined in series to produce hundreds or thousands of megawatts of capacity in total, but EH2 believes that it can offer lower-cost systems — and therefore cheaper green hydrogen — by going big from the start.
“Electric Hydrogen helps customers reach their climate objectives by making green hydrogen an economic inevitability,” the company says in a press release.
“EH2 manufactures turnkey 100 MW electrolysis systems, including innovative electrolysis stacks with record-breaking efficiency, that can match the variability of renewable energy production with precision. The modular plant architecture significantly reduces on-site construction costs and complexity.”
NFE has not revealed any details about its Texas green hydrogen project, with EH2 stating that the facility will be capable of producing nearly 50 tonnes per day of green hydrogen, with first H2 production expected in the fourth quarter of 2024, and full commercial operation in 2025.
“The site and facility are scalable to 200MWs [sic] in the future,” EH2 added in its press release.
NFE’s business model is to build LNG import facilities and gas-fired power plants in “places around the world where affordable, reliable, cleaner energy is in short supply”.
It has a hydrogen business called Zero Parks, which is building the unidentified Texas green H2 project.
The only Texas-based green hydrogen project mentioned on the NFE website is from an August 2022 press release, in which NFE announced that it had entered an agreement with US PEM electrolyser maker Plug Power on a 120MW renewable H2 project near Beaumont, southeast Texas — a significant oil and gas region — that would produce more than 50 tonnes per day of green hydrogen.
Hydrogen Insight has contacted NFE to see if that project has now been reconfigured for EH2’s 100MW electrolyser, but is yet to receive a response.