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Biden admin grants $4bn tax credits for 100 energy projects

The administration allocated $2.7bn in tax credits to clean energy manufacturing and recycling; $800m to critical materials recycling, processing, and refining; and $500m to industrial decarbonization.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced $4 billion in tax credits for over 100 projects across 35 states to accelerate domestic clean energy manufacturing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at industrial facilities.

Projects selected for tax credits under the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit (48C), funded by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, span across large, medium, and small businesses and state and local governments, all of which must meet prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements to receive a 30% investment tax credit. Of the $4 billion tax credits, $1.5 billion supports projects in historic energy communities.

The agencies did not release a full list of the projects awarded tax credits, citing prohibitions in the law. But a news release gave this overview:

Clean energy manufacturing and recycling: $2.7 billion in tax credits (67% of round 1 tax credits)

  • Selected from applications requesting support for the buildout of U.S. manufacturing capabilities critical for clean energy deployment and span clean hydrogen (e.g., electrolyzers, fuel cells, and subcomponents), grid (e.g., cables, conductors, transformers, and energy storage), electric vehicles (e.g., battery components, power electronics), nuclear power, solar PV, and wind energy (including offshore wind components), among other industries and components critical to supporting secure and resilient domestic clean energy supply chains.

Critical materials recycling, processing, and refining: $800 million in tax credits (20% of round 1 tax credits)

  • Selected projects are investing in multiple electrical steel applications, lithium-ion battery recycling, and rare earth projects, all critical areas for maintaining a secure, reliable energy system and advancing the clean energy transition.

Industrial decarbonization: $500 million in tax credits (13% of round 1 tax credits)

  • Selected projects would implement decarbonization measures across diverse sectors, including chemicals, food and beverage, pulp and paper, biofuels, glass, ceramics, iron and steel, automotive manufacturing, and building materials. Low-carbon fuels, feedstocks, and energy sources are well-represented as a solution for decarbonization across these projects.

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EPCC contract awarded for Australia green hydrogen plant

A consortium consisting Technip Energies and Monford Group has been awarded an EPCC contract to develop Project Yuri.

A consortium consisting Technip Energies and Monford Group has been awarded an Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract by Yuri Operations Pty Ltd, to develop Project Yuri Phase 0 – a green hydrogen plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Project Yuri, developed in partnership with Yara Clean Ammonia and ENGIE, includes a 10 MW electrolysis plant and an 18 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm with its 8 MW Battery Energy System (BESS) providing the necessary energy for the electrolysis. It will produce up to 640 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum for use in the existing Yara Pilbara Ammonia Plant to produce green ammonia.

Technip Energies is responsible for the overall project management and the electrolysis plant engineering, procurement, commissioning and start up, according to a news release. Monford Group is responsible for the overall project construction and the PV farm engineering, procurement, commissioning and start up.

The project has received grant funding from the Federal Government via ARENA, as part of the Advancing Renewables Program and from Western Australia State Government as a part of Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Fund.

Mitsui & Co. Ltd. has agreed to acquire a 28% stake in Yuri Operations Pty Ltd subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions under its investment agreement.

The Yuri project plan has a multi-phase (Phase 0-I-II-III) roadmap, which aims to establish a new industry value chain, harvesting the abundant renewable power in Western Australia, to make renewable hydrogen and ammonia as feedstock for renewable chemical production, as well as renewable fuel for power generation and shipping, serving local and export markets (Asia and beyond).

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Buckeye Partners acquires EnCap-backed CCS developer

EnCap made a $350m initial capital commitment to Elysian in 2021.

Buckeye Partners has acquired Elysian Carbon Management from EnCap Flatrock Midstream.

Elysian provides integrated end-to-end carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions to industrial, power and similar facilities seeking to transition to lower carbon products to advance emissions reductions goals.

EnCap made a $350m initial capital commitment to Elysian in 2021.

“This acquisition reflects Buckeye’s commitment to continue to provide essential infrastructure and logistics solutions to meet our customers’ evolving needs in the energy transition,” said Buckeye CEO Todd Russo. “Rapidly developing CCS-related technologies and solutions offer abundant synergies across Buckeye’s project development capabilities and existing pipeline network and are essential to enabling the energy transition’s success. We’re excited for the Elysian team to join the Buckeye platform and to integrate their expertise to better serve our customers’ growing lower-carbon needs.”

This acquisition is another meaningful step in Buckeye’s ongoing commitment to building a business that is responsive to the needs of the future while continuing to serve the energy needs of communities today. Through advancing strategies to further reduce carbon emissions, Buckeye is committed to becoming a net zero energy business by 2040, across scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. These commitments and others can be found in Buckeye’s newly released 2022 Sustainability Report.

“Buckeye continues to demonstrate resiliency and emissions-reduction results across its increasingly diversified energy solutions portfolio,” said Elysian CEO Bret Logue. “We’re fully aligned with their decarbonization mission and look forward to adding immediate value to Buckeye’s customer base and their momentum in the energy transition by integrating CCS technologies across the energy value chain.”

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Irving Oil to produce green H2 at New Brunswick refinery

Irving Oil will expand its hydrogen capacity at its Saint John refinery with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.

Irving Oil will expand its hydrogen capacity at its Saint John refinery in New Brunswick, Canada, with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada, according to a press release.

The company’s initial investment in a 5 MW electrolyzer, developed by Plug Power, is expected to be fully operational by late 2023 and will play a role in exploring further hydrogen production at the Saint John refinery, as well as for downstream customers.

Once fully operational, the electrolyzer will produce 2 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

Today the Saint John refinery generates more than 200 tonnes of grey hydrogen per day, which is used to lower the sulphur content of petroleum products.

The hydrogen electrolyzer will use electricity from the local grid.

“Irving Oil will continue to work diligently with stakeholders to shift its hydrogen production to low-carbon, or green, hydrogen in the future – with the investment of the electrolyzer as an important first step on this journey,” the release states.

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Illinois ethanol company seeking offtaker for SAF project

Seeking to diversify into new markets, Marquis, a family-owned ethanol producer based in Illinois, is looking for an offtaker for its first sustainable aviation fuel plant.

Marquis, a family-owned ethanol producer based in Illinois, is seeking an offtaker for its first sustainable aviation fuel plant.

The company, which is developing the plant in partnership with LanzaJet, an SAF firm, recently completed a feasibility study for the project, and is looking for airlines or users of renewable diesel as offtakers, Dr. Jennifer Aurandt Pilgrim, the company’s director of innovation, said in an interview.

Marquis owns and operates a 400 million gallon per year ethanol plant – the largest dry-grind ethanol plant in the world – which produces sustainable ethanol for fuel and chemicals as well as a feed for the aquaculture and poultry industries.

The company will divert roughly 200 million of those gallons to make 120 million gallons per year of SAF and renewable diesel, Aurandt said, noting that Marquis is looking to branch into new markets where ethanol is a feedstock.

“As more electric vehicles come on, there will be about a 3 billion gallon demand destruction for ethanol, and SAF is one of the great markets that we can diversify into,” she said.

Aurandt said financing for the SAF facility will ultimately depend on who the offtaker is.

Use cases

United Airlines, Tallgrass, and Green Plains Inc. recently formed a joint venture – Blue Blade Energy – to develop and then commercialize SAF technology that uses ethanol as its feedstock.

SAF using corn as a feedstock does not currently qualify for incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, which uses standards laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization that effectively exclude corn-based SAF from qualifying.

Marquis and other ethanol producers are pushing for the adoption of a lifecycle greenhouse gas model, known as GREET, developed by the Argonne National Laboratory, that would allow corn-based feedstock to qualify, said Dustin Marquis, the company’s director of government relations.

The company is also looking to attract partners to set up operations in the Marquis Industrial Complex, which is touted as a 3,300-acre industrial site with natural gas lines, access to multiple forms of transportation, and carbon sequestration on-site.

“We’re looking for other businesses where there would be either vertical integration or business synergies between the two organizations,” Marquis said.

Marquis said in a news release it would develop two 600 ton per day blue hydrogen and blue ammonia facilities along with manufacturing for carbon neutral bio-based chemicals and plastics.

CO2 utilization

In its production process, Marquis makes 1.2 million tons of biogenic CO2 per year, and has applied for an EPA Class IV permit for sequestration.

“We like to say it’s direct air capture with the corn plant,” Aurandt said, adding that the CO2 is purified via fermentation to 99.9% pure, and will be injected into a formation that sits beneath the Marquis Industrial Complex.

The company is additionally developing a CO2 utilization project with LanzaTech, which would augment ethanol production using CO2 as a feedstock. The project was recently awarded an $8.54m grant from the US Department of Energy, the largest award in the category of corn ethanol emission reduction.

“We can increase the amount of ethanol that we produce here by 50%,” Aurandt said. “So we could make 200 million gallons of ethanol per year” from CO2, she added, noting that the pilot demonstration will be the largest CO2 utilization project in North America. It is expected to be operational in late 2024.

The SAF plant and the CO2 utilization project will use hydrogen for refining and as an energy source, respectively, Aurandt said.

Gas Liquid Engineering is the EPC for the CO2 unit, and Marquis will use compressors from Swedish multinational Atlas Copco.

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Buckeye Partners closes acquisition of Bear Head Energy

Buckeye Partners has closed on the acquisition of Bear Head Energy.

Buckeye Partners has closed on the acquisition of Bear Head Energy, Inc., according to a news release.

Bear Head is developing a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production, storage and export project in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia with hydrogen electrolyzer capacity of more than 2 GW.

As part of the project’s phased development, Buckeye plans to partner with on-shore and off-shore renewable energy developers to build out a large-scale green hydrogen hub for Atlantic Canada.

Buckeye established its Alternative Energy operating segment as a clean energy business that focuses on the development, construction, and operation of alternative energy projects, including hydrogen, wind, and solar-powered energy solutions.

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RNG developer selling landfill gas portfolio

A Texas-based renewable natural gas developer has tapped an advisor and is selling a portfolio of waste-to-energy projects.

Morrow Energy, an RNG developer based in Midland, Texas, is working with a financial advisor to sell off a portfolio of waste-to-energy projects.

Sparkstone Capital Advisors, a boutique advisory firm based in Virginia, is the sellside advisor on the sale, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Morrow and Sparkstone did not respond to requests for comment.

The Morrow portfolio in the US consists of 12 projects in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, and Washington, according to its website.

Of note, Morrow has developed the Blue Ridge Landfill High BTU project, which is designed for up to 13,000 SCFM of raw landfill gas and can be expanded to up to 30,000 SCFM. Gas from the facility is sold and delivered to vehicle fuel markets in the US.

The company is led by Paul Morrow, its founder and president, who has worked in the RNG industry for over 20 years. Morrow Energy built its first renewable gas facility in the year 2000.

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