Eric Parker, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office: Hello, everyone, and welcome. Happy Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. Welcome to our special October H2IQ Hour, part of our monthly educational webinar series that highlights research and development activities funded by the US Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office – or HFTO – within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. My name's Eric Parker and I'm the HFTO webinar lead. As always, we'll be announcing more topics like this so, please, stay tuned. And I'll also mention right away that this webinar is being recorded and will be posted on DOE's website and used internally.
All attendees will be on mute throughout the webinar so, please, submit your questions via the Q&A box you should see in the bottom right of your WebEx panel anytime you think of them during the webinar, and especially during the end during our Q&A session. And we'll get to as many of those as we can.
And, of course, as I mentioned, today is Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day – October 8th – which was chosen for hydrogen's atomic weight of 1.008. We have celebrated this award for a few years now with some big announcements, presentations, demos, and more, and we actually have a Facebook Live Stream coming up in just a couple hours with our assistant secretary that you can be on the lookout for. And, of course, join us on social media by using the hashtags #HyrdogenNow and #FuelCellsNow you should see in the bottom left there and head on over to Hydrogen.energy.gov to go increase your H2 IQ and learn a little bit more about hydrogen and fuel cells. But, for now, I'd like to introduce you to our dual DOE host, Brian Hunter and Michael Hahn to talk about today's topic and introduce our speakers. Thanks, Brian and Michael.
Brian Hunter, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office: Yeah. Thank you, Eric. As Eric said, my name is Brian Hunter. I'm a Technology Manager with the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies Office. I work both in technology acceleration and delivery space. I'll be co-hosting today's webinar with my colleague, Michael Hahn.
I'd like to start off by wishing everyone a Happy National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day. As Eric mentioned, October 8 was designated as Hydrogen Day because it represented the weight of hydrogen at 1.008. Before we introduce today's speakers, we want to provide brief overview of DOE’s H2@Scale initiative. H2@Scale is one of EERE’s flagship initiatives and is focused on enabling widescale, affordable, hydrogen production storage, transport, and use across multiple application centers. You can visit the H2@Scale website for more information.
A recent focus on H2@Scale identified new markets beyond light duty vehicles where integration of hydrogen technologies can be added value on economic, environmental, and energy resilient fronts. These markets include data centers, core steel manufacturing and medium and heavy-duty trucks. Under H2@Scale, 20 cooperative research and development agreements, and 29 competitively selected projects have been kicked off to explore high proposition as well as research to identify efficient needs to integrate hydrogen production, transport and storage, and utilization technologies in larger energy systems. Next slide, please.
Today, we're gonna be highlighting three H2@Scale projects focused integrated energy system demonstrations. These projects were selected and funded throughout fiscal year 2019 H2@Scale funding opportunity announcement and each focus is on unique integration challenges and applications. During today's webinar, we'll learn about hydrogen production storage utilization system supports stationary power, refilling of fuel cell vehicles, and grid optimization controls at a utility in Florida. This was co-funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. We'll also learn about a renewable hydrogen generation system collocated with a computing center that use a fuel cell power to run operation.
They also install hydrogen refueling infrastructure for vehicles. This project also plans to identify opportunities to expand on the H2@Scale framework to the Gulf Coast, leveraging the port of Houston, and this project was funding by DOE's Thermal Technologies Office. And finally, we'll learn about an integrated scale carbon hydrogen production storage and innovation system nuclear power plant. This project was funded by DOE's Nuclear Energy Office.
So, first up will be Adam Paxson, who's program manager at Giner ELX, most recently purchased by Plug Power. Adam will be presenting the H2@Scale demonstration project hosted at the Orlando Utilities Commissions Gardenia Operations Facility. This project is titled Integrated Hydrogen Production and Consumption for Utility and Improved Utility Operations. Adam recently joined Giner ELX and Plug Power team to help run the R&D programs and advance development projects. He has a bachelor's and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT and he's worked on developing advanced materials and manufacturing technology for energy industrial sectors.
His research interests include system integration, electrolyzer stack, and system cost reduction, and electric chemical compression. So, Adam, I'll turn it over to you. Thanks.
Adam Paxson, Giner ELX: Great, Brian. Thanks very much for the introduction. So, I am at Plug Power's recently acquired Massachusetts location and the program I'll be covering is a demonstration scale project for an integrated hydrogen system. So, this covers the entire cycle of power to gas and back to power, including production with the PEM electrolyzer and consumption by stationary and mobile fuel cells. So, I'll be presenting the overviews of the system that we're designing and installing and a preview of some of the economic modeling work being done. Next slide, please.
One of the main motivations behind this program is in handling the increased penetration we're expecting from intermittent renewable energy being installed, one of the more well-known challenges with increasing solar penetration in particular, is the higher ramping breaks required at the end of the day as solar output drops at the same time the evening demand is picking up. Looking at some actual historical data from our utility partner there on the plot on the right – from Orlando Utilities Commission – or OUC – looking at a sub-hourly time scale, there are even other issues with solar intermittency. So, in Florida, the cloud cover can count a very rapid climb in output – over 80 percent in a minute – and it can rise back again just quickly when the cloud cover clears. So, this has an impact on reliability and has a good deal of wear and tear on the load following generation assets. And these problems just get more pronounced as more renewables are added to the grid.
OUC, in particular, is anticipating growing its solar installations from 1 to 10 percent penetration in the near term and even above 20 percent medium term. So, addressing these intermittency issues is one of the objectives of this program. By using a PEM electrolyzer with a fast response time to rapidly turn down during cloud cover and turn back up as the clouds clear and potentially even turn back on fuel cell generation assets. So, next slide, please.
So, this is an overview of the system that we're designing and installing, along with our partners. You can see, on the right, an overview of the installation location at OUC's Gardenia operations facility. So, at a high level, the system will comprise of PEM electrolyzer of about half a megawatt – almost 200 kilograms a day – where the output will be compressed and stored in two tube trailers for use both going to dispensers at 350 bar and for use in a pair of PEM fuel cell systems. The dispensers will be supplying medium duty fuel cell electric vehicles and the fuel cells – one of which will be stationary, the other mounted on a trailer – will have grid-forming converters – so, back-up power – and other services. Next slide, please.
Here's a bit more detail on the site architecture. So, along with the integrated electrolyzer system, there's actually a number of other renewable and storage systems on site at Gardenia, including almost half a megawatt of solar PV, a 20-kilowatt 4-hour flow battery, and several EV charging stations. So, another objective of the project is to eventually allow this entire facility to operated off grid for extended periods. And, again, one of the fuel cells will be mobile, so, it's re-deployable to other locations so it can provide backup power and other services. Next slide, please.
The program's gonna run over three years. The first year, we are focusing now on the economic analysis. So, we're looking at the different value streams coming from this hydrogen system, which, in addition to the PV smoothing example, it includes other grid services. So, this is things like load shifting, voltage regulation, avoiding the shut-down of large-generation assets, and all this in addition to powering fuel cell vehicles and providing backup power. Our partners at NREL are gonna be extending this model into a regional outlook on how these hydrogen systems can help enable a greater, faster penetration of renewables.
Also, in year one, we are designing the individual system units and OUC is developing the dispatch architecture for controlling this integrated system. Year two's gonna be installation of these individual systems and integration on the site, and by year three, the system will be fully operational and we will revisit the economic analysis and refine it using actual operating data to determine what the potential multiple value streams are. Next slide, please.
Here's an example of one of the modeling efforts. So, this is a model being developed by Hamed Haggi at University of Central Florida. So, this consists of a standard IEEE-33 node test system. So, this is model of a small distribution network with a number of solar generation assets distributed, fossil generation, and hydrogen systems. So, this model takes in an hourly price signal and hourly hydrogen demand.
So, this is an example, in the lower right, of a passenger vehicle with peaks from commuting in the morning and evening hours. And this system performs a cost minimization while meeting voltage constraints. So, the system has to stay within voltage bounds of plus or minus five percent. So, the next slide shows an example of some of the output of this model.
So, you can see, in this instance, this system was purchasing most of the electricity for running the electrolyzers from the upper grid and found that the least-cost way of operating the electrolyzers in this case was to run all out at full power during the lowest cost times of day – which are during the evening hours. And you can see the system turned on – the fuel cells – during a price spike right around 65 hours. And this output's the overall cost of hydrogen production. This will eventually incorporate the dynamic cost of electrolysis, the compression, the storage, and the dispensing for looking at supplying the fuel cell vehicles. The next slide shows an example of another aspect of the modeling efforts.
So, this a PV smoothing model – so, one of the several grid services that we're looking at providing with this electrolyzer. This time this is modeled on sub-hourly time scales. So, this is looking at the effects of the cloud cover. So, this is one scenario that gives an idea of how the electrolyzer is gonna be dispatched so that it can accommodate the fluctuating output. This modeling was done by Doctor Paul Brooker at OUC using actual historical data for output of their PV fields.
And this dispatch model has an hour ahead forecasting for dispatching an electrolyzer of similar capacity to those PV fields. The next slide zooms in on a particular time window between 9:30 and noon.
So, you can get a sense here of how this hour-ahead forecasting is preemptively up the output of the electrolyzer slowly so that it can deal with these very sharp downturns of PV output in order to maintain a ramping unit of 30 percent of the total PV output per minute. So, last, I'll wrap up with just showing the roles of the different collaborators on this program.
So, in addition to Plug Power where we'll be providing the electrolyzer and the fuel cells at Orlando Utilities Commission, and we'll be responsible for site prep and integration and procurement of the fuel cell vehicles. The two tube trailers and dispensers will be provided by One H2. The system level economic modeling will be done in part by the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida, along with OUC, and NREL will be responsible for a regional analysis of how coupling with electrolyzers can help enable more rapid penetration of PV. So, with that, I'd like to thank everyone for joining and look forward to any questions at the end of the session.
Brian Hunter: Thanks very much, Adam. Appreciate the overview. I guess, as I mentioned, we're gonna do a Q&A at the end of the presentations so, if you do have any questions about any of the projects that are being presented today, please enter your question in the Q&A and we'll cover those as possible at the end of the talks.
Next up, representing Frontier Energy Team to discuss demonstration of framework for H2@Scale in Texas and Beyond will be Michael Lewis from the University of Texas at Austin. Mike has over 20 years of experience in advanced research and technology development at the University of Texas Center for Electromechanics. His interests include alternative fuels and electric powered vehicles, alternative energy sources, and energy storage. An overarching mission of his research team is to accelerate the commercialization of advanced technologies through a technology _____ and partnership industry. So, go ahead, Mike. Thanks.
Michael Lewis, Frontier Energy: All right. Thanks, Brian, for the intro and welcome everyone and appreciate you all logging in and hearing about project today for National Hydrogen Day. As Brian said, I am presenting on behalf of Nico in Frontier Energy and I'm with the University of Texas at Austin. Our project is focused on demonstrating hydrogen at scale in Texas and then looking kind of beyond into the future and kind of past this project as well and seeing how hydrogen can be deployed within Texas later down the road. So, we'll get into that in a bit. Next slide, please.
This is a little bit about Frontier Energy. I won't go into their sale's pitch here, but if you'd like to learn more about 'em, go on ahead. They are acting as our prime contractor. Next slide.
With the additional partners listed here – GTI, of course the University of Texas – the group that I'm working with and presenting for – and then several industry partners such as Mitsubishi, OneH2, ONE Gas, Shell, SoCalGas, Toyota, and Waste Management are all part of the project. And I guess, not listed here – it's occurring to me – is Air Liquide as well. This, of course, will be a 3-year, 36 -month project. We just started our – signed our contracts in July. Frontier's working on finalizing sub-contract at this time, so, activities – early design activities are just now ramping up and we're getting kicked off on the project.
So, no progress really to present today, but just kind of where we're gonna go in the plant with the project. I believe the next slide speaks to the hydrogen at scale vision.
Brian covered this earlier so, there's really no need to go into this at this point, but what I will say with this slide is we were trying to pick up some of the aspects of this concept – sort of as many as we could – all the little wheels around this graphic here – focused on renewable hydrogen generation that can be used in a power application, which will be a data center or a computing center, and then, also for vehicle fueling. And a big part of our motivation on the next slide was to do this project in Texas.
Our project team sees Texas as an ideal location for rolling out hydrogen energy systems and technologies. There are a lot of reasons to do this – a few bullets here or kind of summarize the high level, but one is just the excellent resources for producing hydrogen. Lots of natural gas, a lot of wind power, and solar power is even starting to ramp up in the state. So, a lot of pathways of potential renewable hydrogen generation – especially if we think about renewable natural gas, which is what the project's aiming to demonstrate.
We produce a lot of hydrogen in Texas. There's a lot of infrastructure already along the Gulf Coast and even into Louisiana, as shown by this graphic here from NREL – all the little orange dots along the coast line – and then, even out in West Texas, there's some sparse hydrogen generation as well out there, which one day might partner well with all the West Texas wind power. But beyond the resources and the infrastructure that's already in place in Texas, a big kind of – another motivating factor and why we feel Texas is great for implementing hydrogen energy in a hydrogen energy economy are the major industry leaders that have had headquarters in Texas – whether they're US headquarter or global headquarters – that include several of our partners such as Toyota, Shell, and Air Liquide. They all have – play a large role in the Hydrogen Council. They have a strong presence in Texas and are motivated to see hydrogen energy realized. So, with that, we proposed the project on the next slide that it actually has two – in a way, it's kind of two projects in one.
It's always a little bit difficult presenting this to people, but there are two aspects, two sort of R&D tracks that we're headed down. One does the actual demonstration – and this demonstration is sort of depicted here on this figure – where we are going to look at and study and make hydrogen from renewable sources that – electrolysis with wind and solar power – and then, also, reformation using landfill gas – so, renewable natural gas – and then use that hydrogen to power a major industrial consumer of energy – that in the form of a data center or a computing center – while also refueling vehicles and doing a small vehicle demonstration in Austin, Texas. All that equipment will be located in Austin, Texas at the university at our research campus with the University of Texas. The second aspect of the project is listed there on the last bullet where we plan to take a deep dive into the Port of Houston area and kind of all throughout Texas as well and so some technoeconomic models and studies of how hydrogen at scale pilot projects or plans or concepts can be rolled out in the future, where it makes the most sense. How can we leverage the existing infrastructure?
Maybe how do we leverage wind power and so forth? So, a significant part of the project, though, you know, I would say on the order of about 10 percent of the effort of the total DOE funds will be spent looking at that. And really, you know, making sure that this project does not just end at this demonstration, but that there's a path forward to continuing to roll off hydrogen energy systems within the state of Texas and really trying to spur that adoption of hydrogen in the state.
So, on the next slide, here's a rough timeline activity. So, you know, year one, it's gonna be a lot of planning for the demonstration. By midway through year two, we'll have all the systems installed and ready to run and then, complete that demonstration through the end of year three – all the university campus. And then, in the first two years is where we're gonna spend our time focusing on the Port of Houston study year plan – so, where that second track of the research. We really hope to sort of wrap up the bulk of that work within a year and a half and then be ready, you know, by year two to present final results and so forth and hopefully have plans in place and partners lined up to think about the next project in the future. I think the next slide starts to discuss the demonstration activities in a little more detail.
It's a graph here very much stolen from the DOE's H2@Scale graphic, but it lays out the major components of the project. So, as I mentioned, renewable hydrogen generation using renewable natural gas through SMR and then, electrolysis of wind and solar power. I'll note, with the electrolysis operations, we will be emulating the wind and solar power with a microgrid facility at our research center. So, we'll be tying into a set of solar panels on the campus and the just emulating that.
So, obviously, the power – the amount of output power gets downgraded to match our equipment, and we're gonna partner with one of our industry partners – Mitsubishi – and monitor a wind farm asset that they have in West Texas and as in real time as possible, with our data link there, so that we can emulate that as well. And so, in that process, we'll be studying some of the aspect that Adam just spoke on here that I don't think I need to reiterate for this audience, but, you know, how do your renewables tie in? What's hydrogen generation? And what's the value there? The user of our hydrogen will largely be the Texas Advanced Computing Center on the research campus.
So, that'll be a fuel cell power system that will provide part of their current power – not all of it by any means. On the order of about 100 kilowatts will be the power rating of that fuel cell system. And then, roughly, you know, 10-20 percent or so of the hydrogen we generate we plan to use with a vehicle demonstration using light duty vehicles that will be provided by Toyota. Those will be in the form of Mirai vehicles. We have also – have been kicking around an idea of demonstrating some drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – with some local companies that are providing drone services for monitoring utility lines and such.
That work is kind of still under way, a little bit up in the air right now, but we're working towards that. We'd like that to become a part of the demonstration – especially considering it's kind of a unique application out there for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I think the next slide kind of reiterates a lot of what I just said, except, you know, a few specs here.
So, how much hydrogen will we be generating each day? Roughly 100 kilograms. Three quarters of that will be through the SMR and then, about a quarter of that with the electrolyzer. Then, that electrolyzer is actually part of a simple fuel dispenser unit that'll be used on the project for the refueling. And then, of course, I've already mentioned that the fuel cell will be about 100 kilowatts powering the computing center, vehicle refueling – I mentioned the drones already.
Okay. I think this is pretty close to the end here, but so, in regards to the Port of Houston Study and Framework and planning activities, you know, as I mentioned, we really want to see things go beyond this demonstration project in Texas. So, this work will largely be assembling industry stakeholders, doing several workshops trying to kind of plan this out – what are all the things we need to consider. There will be – we'll be developing technoeconomic models that are kind of just mapping out the area and trying to think about the different resources that are available to us, who the end users are, who the producers are and so forth – also identifying policy and regulatory barriers or maybe which policies are out there that we can leverage and take advantage of that exist today or what might Texas need to do in the future. But, at the of this, you know, having an actionable plan in place and going beyond just the results of the technoeconomic models, but really, what are the next steps. Where are we gonna go with this?
And it is this part of the project I'll mention here with these last couple of bullets that it's received a lot of positive feedback already upon, you know, getting the announcement of award from the DOE and our press releases that were put out recently once we were under contract. You know, between Nico and myself and GTI – our partners at GTI – we get contacted daily by different industry folks interested in the project, in contributing, and they want to see where this is going. So, we think this idea of hydrogen in Texas makes sense and we're seeing that in the feedback that we're getting from industry. So, we are very excited about that part of the project. We've also, since the award was announced, have been partnering with other groups within the state who are looking at other sort of opportunities for decarbonization or maybe turning different highways into hydrogen highways or zero-emission highways – all very synergistic activities with our work that we're getting involved with at this point, and we're hoping to kind of leverage the work they're doing into our study, but then go, you know, a step beyond and expand upon that work.
So, I don't know, just a lot of activity in this area in Texas, which is new for Texas, right? This is – a few years ago, we were not seeing this kind of interest in Texas and it's great that this work is highlighting that and bringing attention to the opportunities for hydrogen in Texas. So, I think the last slide, just once again, summarizes sort of the overall project and planning, where we'll be heading over the next three years.
But with that, yeah, well, I'll be happy to take some questions later on in the Q&A session. If you want to reach out to me and contact me personally, or even Nico, here's some of our contact information as well. Thank you.
Michael Hahn, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office: Great. Thank you, Michael. My name is Michael Hann as Brian introduced me earlier. I'm also a technology manager in the hydrogen fuel cell technologies office and I'll be introducing our final presenter and taking us through the Q&A session afterwards. Our final presenter today is Ugi Otgonbaatar allow for dynamic participation in an organized electricity market and in-house hydrogen supply.
Ugi is a corporate strategy manager at Exelon Corporation and has since joined company in 2016, Ugi's been working for Exelon's corporate R&D partnership program focusing on early stage energy technologies, including clean hydrogen generation, energy storage, and technologies for repurposing the existing nuclear fleet. Ugi holds a BS and Ph.D. in nuclear science and engineering from MIT with research experience in thermal hydraulics, computational material science, and has previously worked for the R&D groups of Electricite de France, General Electric, and Tokyo Electric Power Company. And now, I'll turn it over to you, Ugi, to tell us more about this exciting project.
Ugi Otgonbaatar, Exelon: Thank you, Michael. I really appreciate the invitation to attend this conference and the opportunity to talk about our demonstration project and share a little bit about our region and thinking of hydrogen when it comes to sort of corporate strategy from Exelon's _____ company perspectives. So, I was looking forward to the discussion. I personally spend a lot of time thinking about hydrogen, so, really appreciate the opportunity to share some of our thinking. So, if you could go to the next slide, please.
Just wanted to sort of give some overview of Exelon as a company. As you might know, we know Exelon is one of the largest electric utility companies in the United States so, starting on the top right here, we have a significant power generation business – about 32,000 megawatts of installed generation capacity, but 60 percent of that is nuclear power plants. So, we have 21 nuclear units operating in different parts of the country. As you probably know, we have seen some premature shutdowns of nuclear plants.
I will come back to that point later, but Exelon also operates – on the left here – electric power distribution businesses in 6 territories in the United States serving 10 million customers across many states. We also operate a gas distribution business in two parts of the country – Philadelphia and Boston _____ and in Maryland. So, the point is, you know, Exelon operates businesses across the value chain and the electricity sector, but what's interesting is when it comes to hydrogen, hydrogen is applicable and comes up in conversations all across the spectrum for these different businesses. So, there's a conversation on hydrogen when it comes to gas distribution business. There's a hydrogen conversation on the generation business.
There is hydrogen on the fossil fuel generation business as well. So, hydrogen is a cross-cutting clean energy technology that is applicable to different operating businesses for companies like Exelon. So, next slide, please.
Just wanted to share some perspectives on what we are seeing in the electric power markets on a micro level. I think everybody's probably aware that the natural gas price in the US is very low. It's persistently low mainly due to the shale gas revolution happen in the US and that is having a direct impact on the electricity price in competitive power markets in many regions. Combined with that is the electric load growth is very slow in many regions of the country. That's because of macroeconomic reasons.
That's because of energy efficiency improvements in many parts of the country. So, the load is not growing as fast as it used to. Combined with that is, you know, we have seen increased renewable energy penetration in many parts of the country, and that's also influencing the power prices. So, all of this has to sort of combine to result in very low electricity prices in many parts of the country where Exelon operates, and what we've seen is, you know, this affecting sort of the economic viability of existing nuclear power plants and challenging them. And we have seen premature shut down of many nuclear plants in many parts of the country so, as you probably know, those resources are often replaced by carbon emitting resources resulting in net increase in carbon emission in many parts of the country. So, if you could go to the next slide, please.
So, for Exelon, we are looking at technical options and technologies to improve the viability of our existing nuclear plants in the long term and exploring the option to produce experimental products from nuclear power. So, nuclear is a primary energy source that's carbon free. The question is – can we produce something other than electricity with this resource? So, one of the things we have been looking into in this graph on number one is the production of hydrogen from nuclear electricity using electrolyzers. So, you can do this.
And one of the first questions you ask once you start producing hydrogen is what do you use the hydrogen for, right? It's very difficult to store and the hydrogen use case becomes a big question. So, what can be done with that hydrogen, first of all, is that you can use it to actually back for the nuclear power plant for operational purposes. So, as you guys might know, you know, large nuclear power plants actually consume hydrogen as part of their operational needs. You know, hydrogen is a gas with good heat transfer properties and power plants use hydrogen for cooling purposes.
For a nuclear power plant, hydrogen gas is also used for controlling the chemistry for different purposes for a nuclear power plant. So, one of the first things we are exploring is – can we produce hydrogen and then, use that hydrogen for the operational purposes of that nuclear power plant, offsetting the purchase of hydrogen from external companies? So, that's something we are kind of exploring and I'll talk more about that now with demonstration project, but there are some opportunities going beyond that to utilize that carbon-free hydrogen in different use cases. So, an interesting use case would be to use the hydrogen for peak power production in the electric power system. So, this could be a combine cycle peaker plant or a gas fired peaker plant that could be running on clean hydrogen as a carbon-free generation resource.
So, that's an interesting set up that we continue to assess the economics of that. And it would be a way to do energy storage on a very large scale because you're producing hydrogen from electricity and using that hydrogen as fuel for peak power production, which is very interesting. Hydrogen can be blended into a gas pipeline as a carbon-free fuel. There are some countries and demonstration projects going after that and trying to demonstrate hydrogen blending or hydrogen injection into a gas pipeline. So, that's of interest and in that case, the customer would be the short _____ distribution company and the question is – are there some gas distribution companies that would pay for that carbon-free hydrogen as a fuel?
And what does the economics of that look like? So, those are some of the questions that we are trying to answer. And then, going even beyond that, you could envision an on-site hydrogen user – it's like a green ammonia producer or some heavy industrial customers like that – or ultimately, you could continue into sort of supplying the regional hydrogen market with clean hydrogen produced from carbon-free electricity resources. So, this is kind of our region for hydrogen that we would like to explore, and we've been accessing the economics of these various types of opportunities extensively. Next slide, please.
So, to demonstrate, you know, number one, two, and three, we have applied for some DOE funding to really just, you know, on a small scale – one megawatt scale – to demonstrate that hydrogen can be produced from nuclear electricity and it can be utilized effectively for in-house consumption for the power plant to offset some of the offsite third party purchase of hydrogen. So, that's exactly what we are trying to demonstrate with this DOE funded demonstration project. And the project officially started on April 1st of this year and it's expected to go on for 3 years. Just like I mentioned it, the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Office cost shared project – Exelon Corporation is the lead applicant. We are partnering with three of the applied energy laboratories in the United States – Idaho, NREL, and Argonne National Lab.
We are also working with a company called Nel Hydrogen based in Norway, and they're one of the largest manufacturers of hydrogen equipment and they will be supplying the one-megawatt PEM electrolyzer equipment for this project. But again, the questions we are trying to answer with this project is, first of all, to demonstrate that this can be done; secondly, to meet in-house hydrogen consumption; and thirdly – to understand the economics of a future scale of the project. Next slide, please.
So, so far, we have completed a site selection process. Looking at the electrical engineering factors, mechanical engineering considerations – including constructability. No water management issues. No water supply considerations. Site hydrogen consumption data and the use cases and other issues, including regulatory. So, we had selected that site for this project and started the conceptual engineering design for that site. Next slide, please.
So, yeah, in terms of timeline, the official start data is April 1st of 2020 and we have a go/no go decision coming up next year to make a determination whether to continue to the second phase of the project or not. So, in project period one or phase one of this project, the main asks are completing that conceptual design of that installation nuclear power plant and working with the lab partners to demonstrate that, you know, these electrolyzer equipment can be operated dynamically in response to an ejection power market signal. So, that's going to be taking place at a national lab site, but in parallel, we'll be completing a conceptual engineering design specific to this site. Just on top, right, just to give you some idea on what the phase type layout looks like, there is an existing hydrogen storage that we are looking to install a one-megawatt skid next to that. As you can imagine, there's an electrical connection consideration – water connection considerations – and construction consideration.
So, we are going through all of those concerns and sort of working on that conceptual engineering design currently. Next slide, please.
So, just going beyond the small project and assessing the economics hydrogen production, this slide is from McKinsey and there is a very good report that was published in earlier this year laying out the road map for hydrogen economy in the US, and this slide kind of shows the _____ cost of hydrogen production from different resources. So, as you can see, the gray hydrogen, blue hydrogen, and green hydrogen, are kind of, you know, on the horizontal axis there. Let me just focus on the green hydrogen piece. You know, it is more expensive than gray hydrogen or blue hydrogen currently, based on this analysis, but the point is that it's very sensitive to the electricity price assumption that's going into this electrolyzer. Cheaper the electricity price, the lower the cost of hydrogen will be.
Utilization factor is also very important factor. You know, the higher utilization factor you have, the more economically your hydrogen will be. And for a nuclear power plant, you know, the utilization factor is very high, so, potentially, there is a way if there is an economic advantage when it comes to producing hydrogen from nuclear power plants. Next slide, please.
So, just looking at the big picture, you know, currently, in the United States, 13 million metric tons of hydrogen is produced annually. So, if you assume all of that hydrogen is produced electrolytically, that's 74 gigawatts of power at 100 percent capacity factor. But we are expecting the hydrogen economy to grow in the United States two-fold in the next 10 years, so, that means additional equivalent of 70 gigawatts of electric demand that could come from supplying green hydrogen to these new use cases. So, that's the big picture in terms of, you know, hydrogen market opportunity and we continue to assess the economics and continue to focus on this one megawatt demonstration project to prove the feasibility and to understand the economics of hydrogen production very well. So, I think that's my time. Then, we not go through the conclusion slides, but I'm happy to take the questions and have a discussion afterwards. I guess back to you, Eric.
Michael H.: Thank you very much. Okay. This is Michael again. So, for those of you who – I see that there's been several questions entered already. For those of you who haven't entered your questions, there is a special Q&A box in WebEx that you would enter it in just like the slide shows here, and we'll do our best to get through all we can of the questions that were entered. If we don't get to your question today, there's also a wealth of information on the HFTO website where you can look up more information on all these topics. Well, let's jump in. The first question – and actually, a few questions, I believe throughout the list – talk to the storage and transport of hydrogen. So, how did the projects compare to and address the production of hydrogen where energy sources – like renewable energy – are produced in a different location and then it gets transported – say, the hydrogen gets produced there and then gets transported to where it will actually be used? Maybe we can have each of our panelists talk briefly on how they're addressing production storage and then, delivery, too, where it gets used for the project. Let's begin with Adam, perhaps.
Adam: So, we're actually producing the hydrogen collocated with where it's being consumed both in the dispensers with fuel cell vehicles and by the stationary fuel cells themselves. It is pulling power from the grid, so, it's not quite considered collocated as far as the electricity source.
Michael H.: But you do actually have a mobile power station as well on the project, correct?
Adam: Correct. Yeah. One is the – one of the fuel cell systems will be – since we trailer mounted – so, it can be brought to different locations.
Michael H.: How about you, Mike Lewis? Do you want to talk a little bit to that?
Michael L.: Sure. As Adam said, our hydrogen production and use will all be collocated, which we think is, you know, an enabling path set for – at least for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which we can leverage large-scale industry users of hydrogen and roll out vehicles and other hydrogen use cases where current hydrogen infrastructure exists, and then, of course, try to expand that in the future down the road. 'Cause the transportation/distribution costs are a big part of what drives the cost of hydrogen at the pump and is fundamentally, one of the main factors that is slowing the adoption of fuel cell vehicles. So, we think it's important for this project to demonstrate how vehicles and large-scale industry users can be kind of combined, collocated nearby one another, to bring down that cost of hydrogen, especially for vehicles. And that'll be a big aspect in the Port Houston Study and work, too, is the transmission/distribution cost of the hydrogen will be a big component of that.
So, we have these resources of hydrogen production and distribution and pipeline networks – at least along the Gulf Coast right now, so, how do you build out from those so that you can reduce and minimize these transport costs and make it affordable for vehicles or other applications? We even want to take a look at how do we – how would you leverage or use the renewable power in Texas that's, you know, _____ say, West Texas Wind Power? It's not close to maybe where we want the hydrogen, necessarily. How would you make use of that renewable power to make renewable hydrogen where you might want it, say, in the use scenario to start with? Could be other metropolitan areas or other locations in Texas. So, we hope with that Port Houston work, to dive into those aspects, too, right?
So, there's probably a lot of things that are gonna be limiting there and that we would like to understand on the hardware side, the technology side, but even policy side, right? Like, how do you make agreements with ERCOT in Texas to ramp up an electrolysis unit in Houston to – so you don't have to turn down a wind farm in West Texas. And, of course, maybe, as all this ramps up and we get lots of hydrogen production, then maybe there's no longer any excess wind power. There's no even a need to curtail at some point. But that's always – we plan to look at and we want to address those issues and try to minimize transport and distribution for sure.
Michael H.: Thank you, Mike. Ugi, would you like to comment on this for nuclear power? Obviously, you're collocation for the in-house supply, too, but there's plans for delivery and other things, maybe, as things scale up.
Ugi: Yeah. I think, for our demonstration project, you know, we are utilizing existing hydrogen storage system, so we are not adding any additional storage. So, that's an important part of the project. But when it comes to production – again, the production is on site, so, there isn't really a significant hydrogen transportation that's required. So, we have the production on site, and we have the storage that's already there.
And the storage system is linked to a nuclear power plant chemistry-controlled system already, so, essentially, we have a customer that's always on site that's ready. But when it comes to scale up opportunities going beyond this project, I think transportation is a big issue that needs to be addressed. So, as you know, hydrogen can be transported in compressed tube trailers. That's one way to transport it. Liquid hydrogen transportation is definitely possible and blending into a gas pipeline is something interesting as well.
So, obviously, going beyond this demonstration project and for scale up, all of those transportation considerations need to be taken into account for the economics of any project, and that's something that we've been kind of looking into as well.
Michael H.: Thank you. Our next question is with respect to the water side of the electrolysis. So, where do you source the water from when you're generating the hydrogen through the electrolysis? And that is probably project specific in these cases, but why don't we start with – jump right back with you, Ugi, and talk about where you're getting your water supply from for your electrolysis.
Ugi: Yeah. I mean, that's a good question. For electrolyzers, the water needs to be in deionized. DI water needs to be supplied. So, you could just feed, you know, regular water – potable water – and have the unit be – have a DI system incorporate in the electrolyzer.
I think that's one option. If you have DI water supply available on site, you could supply the electrolyzer with that water _____. So, I think you have different options when it comes to water. But for our projects, you know, nuclear power plants actually need DI water as a production source on site already so, we have options when it comes to this demonstration project and we continue to assess the different options and assess the economics of those options.
Michael H.: Thank you, Ugi. Our next question is on – it says, "What are the typical emission intensity values [Inaudible] for the compression of hydrogen and also for liquid production of hydrogen? So, why don't we turn to Mike Lewis. Would you like to talk a little bit about the carbon footprint piece of hydrogen production?
Michael L.: Sure. Yeah. I don't, I guess, necessarily have the – or the emission numbers on hand, but I'll say, in general, at least for 350 bar kind of rule of thumb number that I've always seen out there is about 10 percent energy efficiency. So, you know, somewhere on the order of about three kilowatt hours of electricity needed per kilogram of hydrogen. So, it's kind of, you know, what are your carbon emissions associated with that?
Where is your energy coming from, right? So, pick your source of energy and, I think, just go figure that out. But yeah, it is, say, on the order of a 10 percent hit, at least, for 350 bar. Now, how that scales up to 700 bar, I'm not exactly sure. I don't know if that's a double number.
And I have – and it also – you know, I've thrown that number out there, but I'll qualify that it can vary, I think, quite a bit depending upon your compressor technology and so forth. So, anyway, rough idea, about 10 percent.
Michael H.: Thank you. Our next question is for both – is for Plug Power and the Orlando Project, and the question asked – what are the technical challenge – what technical challenges are Plug Power and the OEC Project encountering in a control system for this project? Adam, would you like to talk a little bit more about technical challenges of the internal systems?
Adam: Sure. So, there's a couple aspects of the control that are somewhat novel and we expect to be some challenges as we get the control system design. So, the first is – coordinating with the rest of the grid to generate some sort of command or pricing signal. So, one of the services we want to be able to provide is that if the – if the generation output of PV rises high enough that they maybe have to turn off a larger generation unit, we'd like to be able to turn on the electrolyzer and instead, put that load through to producing hydrogen rather than cycle a large generation unit, which has some wear and tear and cons associated with that. The second is integrating with some forecasting ability. So, this is critical for that PV smoothing.
So, there are things like cameras and other sensors to have short-term and medium-term weather forecasting to see what are the impacts gonna be over the next 30 minutes/hour on solar production? How can we prepare the electrolyzer system to deal with this? So, those are two aspects that we are expecting to be sort of non-conventional with control of an electrolyzer system.
Michael H.: Great. Thank you. Next question is related to the H2@Scale framework in Texas and says, "Does the H2@Scale framework in Texas include analysis of all the potential hydrogen production and use applications? So, for example, trucks, heavy duty tracks, rail, oil refinery, et cetera?" Mike, I'll turn it over to you to talk a little bit. You've talked a little bit about some interesting ones – including drones and others – but a little bit more on production and end use for the framework.
Michael L.: Yeah. So, the demonstration's gonna focus on those light-duty vehicles and we hope to integrate drones and, I don't know, maybe some other vehicle will come along at some point for the demonstration, but right now, that's the plan. For that framework study, though – and looking at things in the future for Texas – I think it's all of the above. We want to try to take a look at marine applications, heavy duty trucking, light duty – you know, other equipment, say, in and around the port that has – there's a lot of opportunity there for emissions reductions for a lot of that heavy duty equipment there for handing shipping containers and so forth. So, we do plan to look at all those opportunities and, you know, not only to support – they'll definitely focus support.
We might try to branch out from there as well. You know, I mentioned one of the other groups is looking at making I45 from Dallas to the Houston area into a 0 emissions corridor. So, you know, even out from there, that work will help inform some of where we go and what we do as well.
Michael H.: Great. Thank you, Mike. I think, as we're approaching the top of the hour here, I did want to – we just allowed a couple of the projects – the Florida and the Texas one – I wanted to get one more, maybe, question of those that came in for Exelon out there. And so, Ugi, one of the questions is for you is related to the market regulation and how you're addressing regulatory issues – or challenges, rather – on the project, and maybe you could talk a little bit about what's needed there in concern with nuclear power and hydrogen?
Ugi: Yeah. Thanks. And that's a good question. I think, when it comes to regulations, there is the nuclear safety regulation piece that we are kind of assessing the regulations and the concerns there. And there's a market regulation piece from FERC and the RTOs and ISOs.
So, we are also engaged in conversations on that front as well. I would just say that because hydrogen electrolyzers are such a new technology, a lot of – and there are no precedent for producing hydrogen in a competitive market environment – so, we advocated for maybe clarification of market mechanisms and market rules when it comes to clean hydrogen provision and utilization of that hydrogen in the power system and in the gas system. So, I think – that's kind of in the works right now. But I would just say that the market rules and mechanisms need to be clarified for hydrogen technologies to be able to participate in power system use cases effectively and to understand economics really well.
Michael H.: Thank you. Eric, did you want to take back over?
Eric: Yeah. Thanks, Michael, for coordinating Q&A and thank you to all of our panelists for their awesome presentations and helping out with our Q&A. Apologies if we didn't get to your question but we are out of time. So, thank you, everyone, for joining. I'll remind everyone again that this webinar will be posted on our website, along with the slide deck as a PDF. So, if you go to Hydrogen.energy.gov next week, you can find those on the HFTO section of the website. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter and also, continue to help celebrate Hydrogen Day today throughout the day today and tomorrow. So, thank you, everyone, for attending and with that, I'll wish everyone a great rest of their week. Goodbye.
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