Hydrogen Energy California seeks certification for 300 MW solar plant

Illustration showing the release of NiFe-hydrogenase

Hydrogen Energy California seeks certification for 300 MW solar plant

Greentech Lead
: Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project in Kern County has
sought certification for the 300 MW plant by filing an amended application.

The U.S. Department of Energy is co-funding the HECA
project. The project is administered by the National Energy Technology
Laboratory (NETL) under its Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI-Round 3).

SCS Energy California (SCS), which took over the project,
said the action will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs.

The amended submission highlights SCS’s commitment to HECA
and the work performed by the team since the Department of Energy approved SCS
to take over the development of this project for converting fossil fuels into
clean power and the production of low carbon products.

HECA will manufacture hydrogen to be used to generate nearly
300 MW of low-carbon electricity and to produce low-carbon nitrogen based
products, such as fertilizers.

This low-carbon footprint is accomplished by capturing more
than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 will be transported for use in
enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the adjacent Elk Hills Oil Field (EHOF) owned
and operated by Occidental of Elk Hills (OEHI).

The project furthers California’s low carbon power policies,
adds to domestic oil production and replaces imported high-carbon footprint
fertilizer with domestic low carbon footprint fertilizer.

“They have developed an innovative business model that
improves the economic viability of the project. HECA intends to ramp up the
facility to produce more electricity during peak hours of need in order to
maximize the energy and capacity value of the plant. This is an example of the
kind of creative thinking we will need to solve the climate crisis,” said
Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

The HECA project development is supported in part by a $408
million grant that was competitively awarded to HECA in recognition of the
project’s importance in demonstrating critical carbon capture and enhanced oil
recovery technology at a commercial scale.

“The HECA project underscores the significance of CCUS – the creative combination of business drivers and environmental
responsibility. It demonstrates how carbon capture technology will help us fully
develop and use our vast domestic energy resources in a sustainable way. And by
utilizing the captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, the project provides
significant economic and job creation benefits,” said Chuck McConnell,
DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.