To combat increasing climate change, toxic and increasing pollution levels, and environmental degradation, the world is in search for better, cleaner, and more sustainable power alternatives.
Enter the power-atom! The cleanest burning, non-destructive, and ultra-powerful atom (three times the power of traditional gasoline) - hydrogen. As the world wakes up to the enormous and powerful potential hydrogen offers, we find ourselves with three main alternatives for extracting this "gas-gold" from our environment on an industrial scale. Our current choices are: water for electrolysis, natural gas for steam reforming, and coal for gasification to extract the amounts of hydrogen the world is going to need.
Utah sits in the pathway of a rainbow selection of hydrogen including the entire mix of renewable front ends. Hydrogen – depending on the feedstock – has a color assigned: blue hydrogen from water; grey hydrogen from natural gas; brown hydrogen from coal and green Hydrogen from water with renewable front-end power like wind, solar, geothermal and hydro power. Utah's natural resources are second to none. The topography in central Utah allows for a collective array of fossil and non-fossil fuel resources that allow for a continual supply of hydrogen extraction and production.
Utah HB-223 (our hydrogen bill) was authored by hydrogen-champion House of Representative Melissa Ballard and co-authored by Senator David Hinkins. Senator Hinkins has been a strong supporter for hydrogen development in Utah since 2015 resulting from our first presentations for hydrogen development in Utah to Berkshire Energy, the entire staff of the Utah Energy Office, the executive directors of IPP/IPA, Mangnum Development, the Utah Utility Commission, the 7 County Coalition and subsequent meetings at Dominion Energy, Power Innovations, the Energy Commission of California in Sacramento and with directors of SoCal.
These local and regional meetings lead to trips to Washington DC to meet with the directors of the Department of Finance of the DOE, Energy Advisors of the DOE, the DOI and the DOC, Dr. Sunita Satyapal - Director, Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Program/Fuel Cell Technologies Office and Lou Hrkman of the USEA. These meetings and presentations lead to the very first annual Hydrogen Conference established by the director of the Utah Energy Office - Dr. Laura Nelson, PhD and eventually to the collaborations of Rep. Melissa Ballard and Sen. David Hinkins taking the reigns upon Dr. Nelsons retirement from the Energy Office.
Representative Melissa Ballard and Senator David Hinkins teamed up to lay the legal and policy foundation to put the hydrogen bill on the fast track. HB-223 includes numerous tax incentives for production, transportation, storage and distribution. After passing unanimously in both the House and the Senate, the bill was signed by Governor Cox this past March, 2021.
The focus of hydrogen development in Utah is the result of 4 years of meetings, discussions and presentations to companies, power companies, utility companies and government leaderships in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, California and Washington DC.
Mandates before production
California has a statewide mandate of 100% renewable by 2045. Mandated also in California - 3% of all automobiles sold in the state must adhere to a zero-emissions policy. Any one car manufacturer - or collectively – faces expulsion from the state if they cannot meet that 3% Zero Emissions mandate. Considering California is now the 5th largest economy in the world, and ranks largest in the United States, these mandates carry a lot of weight.
The State of California and the LADWP has recently announced the development of a hydrogen clean power-generating project in Delta, Utah that is presently operated by IPP/IPA and 75% owned by the LADWP. In the past 40 years the IPP plant has been generating 1.3 GW of power. ALL but 5% of this power has been transmitted via high voltage transmission lines 750 miles south into California serving 26 southern municipalities – including the city of LA. The new plant is scheduled to run off 30% hydrogen. As of yet, there has been no source for hydrogen production identified. The entire plant's contribution to California will be less than 7% of its annual needs.
Apart from the strict emission restrictions and mandates proposed by California – the state faces severe and on-going shortages in hydrogen supplies where demand is far outpacing the supply. The state is on high alert due to its realization wind and solar will not supply the state’s energy demand now that there is the extreme curtailment of fossil fuel generated power supplying the state with energy. To meet any kind of clean-energy demand at industrial scale, we need to turn to hydrogen.
Our proposal in 2017 to IPP/IPA and later to the California Energy Office clearly showed how we could produce hydrogen in Utah at the IPP plant and transport the hydrogen via pipeline to Needles, California. That proposal concluded the sate-wide distribution of hydrogen by SoCal via its already established infrastructure of natural gas pipelines that can be converted to hydrogen transport. The interstate hydrogen production could be distributed to existing and developing hydrogen filling stations throughout the state by Element One Technologies or wholesalers who would buy at the Utah facilities, transport to California and distribute the hydrogen to existing hydrogen stations. At present there is only one new hydrogen production facility being planned in California to be in operation 2025. This facility will supply the high purity hydrogen of 99.999%. that is required for fuel cells to operate without contamination of the internal membranes. There is also one cryogenic hydrogen plant being built in Nevada that is expected to produce 24,000 kilos per day. This plant will be a liquefaction plant. All hydrogen from this facility is already purchased and California is still facing hydrogen drought, as well as an on-going mega-drought severely restricting power generation. Clearly, we need a lot more hydrogen.
The Utah Hydrogen Project - The Hydrogen Hub of the West
This project is a $1,500,000,000 (CAPEX) facility that will produce gaseous and cryogenic hydrogen, 13.5 billion cubic feet of underground storage and biofuel manufacturing facility. It will be one of the largest resources of hydrogen within the western region of the US producing 100,000 kilos per day. Upon completion of Phase 2 and 3, the Utah Hydrogenwill be the largest hydrogen facility in the U.S. This project will be the first of its kind in the world that encompasses all technologies presently available to produce both gaseous and liquid energy. As an innovator of technologies, Element One Technologies will also link hydrogen production to geothermal power. Geothermal may be the most costly of all renewable front-ends, but it allows a continual stream of clean hydrogen 24/7/365 that will far outpace production by intermittent wind and solar. In the checks and balances of reliable production it is far better to pay a higher kWh cost using geothermal resources than not be producing hydrogen around the clock due to demand – even at a higher cost per kWh.
Hydrogen production feedstocks - where invisible hydrogen turns green...
Ninety-six percent of all hydrogen on a global scale is produced from fossil fuel. Of that 96% - most hydrogen is generated from natural gas via a steam reforming process (SMR) or as a by-product of oil refining to gasoline. Just 4% of hydrogen production is produced from water. The Utah Hydrogen Project will encompass all facets of hydrogen production from fossil fuel feed stocks and producing hydrogen via electrolysis of water - as well as installing a Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) system using CO2 emissions produced from the multiple GE 33 MW gas turbines and direct power by the grid with CCU in lace for carbon neutral hydrogen. The CO2 emissions from these turbines will be redirected into 30 acre enclosed Agrifarms that will produce a vast array of vine vegetables such as 40' high tomato plants, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and fruits. This closed loop system ensures a continual abundance of clean Zero Carbon Footprint hydrogen. This guarantees to meet the stringent demand of high purity hydrogen the state of California has mandated as “carbon free hydrogen” and that is required for HFCVs.
Several companies from around the globe have agreed to collaborate on The Utah Hydrogen Project from engineering, construction, operation, production and transport to storage. These global companies are the “best of the best” with monumental brand recognition and years of research backing them who will supply electrolyzers, SMR units, GTL systems, natural gas turbines, pipeline construction, wind turbines manufacturers, solar panels companies, geothermal resources and 13.5 Billion cubic feet of underground storage. The collaborative efforts of all these companies have been met with approval from the Utah State Legislation after 4 rounds of meetings at the State Capital Building between 2017, 2018, 2019 and recent January 8th, 2020.
Emery County Commissioners have all approved the location of the facilities outside of Orangeville, Utah – an area abundant with natural gas, coal, and water that includes cleared land available for Phase I, II and III. Our facilities will also include a hydrogen fuel cell and technology development center that will serve as a state, regional and global center for training, visiting engineers, scientists, national labs and universities.
Seven miles south of the facilities will be the worlds first Hydrogen powered private airport. This airport will be a connecting hub with the Salt Lake International Airport and Provo airport. Living quarters will also be built to house visitors as well as supply them with an abundant selection of food stuffs grown with clean and green energy.
Element One Technologies will also begin construction on the first hydrogen-powered living community to where employees and visitors can relax, live, and enjoy all the benefits of an emission-free community center can provide. Here we can present in operation new 100% hydrogen appliances and technology in a "real-world" scenario while giving added value to our training facility as students learn system applications in large, functioning environments. Everything from hydrogen powered large appliances, to electrical residential and community scale power management, to industrial-sized power generation equipment will be available for training, testing, and evaluation.
The Utah Hydrogen Project will be built in three phases over the course of 5 years – doubling and tripling hydrogen production with each phase completion. The first phase will produce 24,000 kilos per day, Phase II 48,000 kilos per day and Phase II at 72, 000 kilos per day and Phase III will produce 100,000 kilos per day. Due to the high hydrogen demand in the state of California for light, medium and heavy duty vehicles and developing states in the western region there will be ample supplies for several off takers. Phase II and III will start construction prior to the completion of Phase I.
The state of California and the hydrogen car industry are starving for hydrogen. To ensure continual growth of the fuel cell industry California desperately needs a continual and ever increasing supply of hydrogen. In June of 2021, California depleted its hydrogen surplus leaving hydrogen stations stranded without fuel. The Utah Hydrogen Project will be the catalyst for Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes Benz, HYZON and Nikola Motors to facilitate market expansion and increased sales of hydrogen cars and trucks in the State of California, Nevada and Utah.
Located adjacent the San Rafael Energy Research Center - our new R&D will also have several departments for different technological developments like a 200 mph HFCV car, a specially designed High Altitude Hydrogen Airplane (HAHA), a hydrogen powered drone that will fly for hours for surveillance and military applications and serve as the assembly facilities for our hydrogen powered Emergency Response Units (ERUs). (Prefab 20’ containers that are hydrogen powered to create a portable electric system for deployment by truck, helicopter or ship to disaster and wildfire areas from local ports around the US).
The Techno Square at the heart of the R&D lab is designed to showcase different hydrogen technologies like SMR, electrolysis, fuel cells and micro-turbine powered by hydrogen from existing companies looking to collaborate with us on our own R&D hydrogen projects. This will offer great opportunity for other companies to locate their technology along with the "Best of the Best" in the industry. With the new hydrogen airport located only minutes away and beautiful housing to host visitors, researchers, educational foundations, legislators and industry leaders that travel to Salt Lake City can then hop a short flight to the new hydrogen airport hub in Emery County with comfortable accommodations for R&R, good food, happy times all in preparation before the tours of the Element One Technologies R&D lab and the Utah Hydrogen Project just 5 minutes drive. It's all designed for an educational experience and to actually see up close and personal many hydrogen technologies in operation.
Engineering teams will be busy on each separate project development that will address numerous combined aspects of the industry in general. There will also be several IP projects being developed that are already on the drawing board from fuel cell and ICE applications to new types of vehicles powered by hydrogen and our one of kind Water Arc Reactor.