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Blue Biofuels receives DOE grant

The DOE grant will enable Blue Biofuels to advance its efforts to scale and optimize its patented cellulose-to-sugar process.

Blue Biofuels, Inc. has received a Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant.

The grant, valued at $206,500, will further propel Blue Biofuels’ mission to revolutionize the biofuels sector and create sustainable transportation and aviation fuel.

The DOE SBIR Phase 1 grant will enable Blue Biofuels to advance its efforts to scale and optimize its patented cellulose-to-sugar (CTS) process. This funding will support the company’s team of scientists and engineers as they continue to refine cutting-edge fuel technology aimed at reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.

“We are honored to be awarded the DOE SBIR grant, which recognizes our commitment to developing clean and sustainable fuels,” CEO Benjamin Slager said in the release. “This grant not only validates our ongoing efforts but also provides us with the resources needed to accelerate our research and move closer to commercialization.”

With this grant, Blue Biofuels aims to successfully complete its Phase 1 scaling objectives, paving the way for future opportunities to secure larger-scale grants. The Company is poised to leverage the findings and data generated from this project to pursue subsequent DOE SBIR Phase 2 & 3 grants, potentially worth millions of dollars. Blue Biofuels remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing the biofuels industry and ushering in a cleaner and greener energy landscape.

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Hexagon Composites seeking CEO

The Norway-based provider of composite cylinder technology for the clean energy industry is seeking a new CEO.

Norway-based Hexagon Composites CEO Jon Erik Engeset will step down as group president and chief executive officer.

The company will shortly commence a search process. Engeset will continue as CEO until the position is filled, following which he will continue to support the company in an advisory role, the company said in a news release.

Hexagon Group is a global manufacturer of Type 4 composite cylinders used for storing gas under high-and low-pressure.

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WATT Fuel Cell receives investment from Generac Power Systems

Pennsylvania-based WATT closed a separate financing round led by EQT Corporation earlier this year, and is building momentum for commercial launch of fuel cell-driven power for homeowners.

WATT Fuel Cell has received an investment from Generac Power Systems, a market leader in residential energy technology, according to a press release.

The new investment closes 2022 with growing momentum toward commercial launch of fuel cell-driven power for homeowners. As a part of the transaction, a member from the Generac executive team will join the WATT board of directors.

WATT closed a separate financing round led by EQT Corporation earlier this year, alongside Senvest Management LLC, Park West Asset Management LLC, and Emerald Development Managers LP.

“This partnership with Generac is a major step forward for WATT as we begin addressing the world’s need for clean, reliable and cost-efficient energy sources in an increasingly disruptive marketplace,” said Caine Finnerty, WATT’s president, chief operating officer and founder. “Generac is the market leader in residential backup power, with a proven and growing brand built on the promise of dependable power for homes in the US and beyond. Partnering with and investing in companies with market leading energy-based technologies like WATT will maintain and extend that lead,” he added.

“Generac is excited to join WATT’s existing investor base and looks forward to collaborating with the WATT team towards the integration of this innovative technology into the Generac Home Energy Ecosystem,” said Patrick Forsythe, chief technical officer at Generac. “We assessed the global fuel cell industry and were impressed by the technological advancements the WATT team has made.”

WATT’s Imperium fuel cells make power using an electrochemical process that generates electricity from hydrogen molecules and other electrochemically oxidizable species derived from one of several readily available fuel options such as propane, natural gas, blended natural gas and hydrogen, or hydrogen.

“This investment by Generac further propels the viability of WATT’s fuel cell power generation technology and gives us an exponential boost as we approach our launch into the residential market,” said Rich Romer, CEO of WATT. “In today’s world of rising energy costs, growing disruptions and threats to the reliability of the power grid, and the need to for lower-carbon energy, WATT will help lead the continued drive for technology and innovation to address those issues.”

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Chevron and JERA eyeing US liquid H2 carriers

The two companies are collaborating on “multiple lower carbon opportunities,” including liquid organic hydrogen carriers in the US.

Chevron New Energies and JERA are collaborating on multiple lower carbon opportunities in the US and Asia Pacific, according to a press release.

As part of their focus across the hydrogen value chain – including production, export, and transportation – the two companies will study liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) in the US.

Other industries include production, new technology commercialization, and the capture, utilization and storage of carbon.

The companies have signed a Joint Study Agreement to explore the potential co-development of lower carbon fuel in Australia and will conduct a feasibility study expected to be completed in 2023. Lower carbon fuel supplies to be produced in the region would seek to leverage Chevron’s LNG and CCS knowledge and experience.

JERA recently announced a collaboration with Uniper to produce up to 8 MTPA of clean ammonia in the US for export.

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California renewables firm in talks for green fuel co-development

A utility-scale solar and storage developer based in California has started outreach and discussions to have green fuels projects co-developed at some of its larger sites in the western US.

RAI Energy, the California-based solar and storage developer, has started to engage with other companies about developing green fuels along with its utility-scale projects, CEO and owner Mohammed S. Alrai said in an interview.

RAI recently took a development loan from Leyline Renewable Capital. That transaction ends a process launched by Keybanc first reported by The Hydrogen Source.

Alrai remains the 100% equity owner, he said. The liquidity from Leyline will last about two years.

The company’s most impending projects are in Colorado and California, Alrai said. Discussions around green fuels envision a partner coming in as a co-developer and customer for RAI’s renewable power.

“We’re definitely open to entering into conversations with all stakeholders,” Alrai said, adding that the effort could require capital raising. “We will be coming to the market to potentially raise equity.”

RAI is moving toward long-term ownership and operation of projects, he said. The company could also sell projects to raise capital.

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Hydra Energy raising equity and debt capital for hydrogen refueling infrastructure

The hydrogen-as-a-service provider for commercial trucking fleets is pursuing an equity raise that will unlock a debt facility for scaling up hydrogen refueling infrastructure in Western Canada.

Hydra Energy, a hydrogen-as-a-service provider for commercial trucking fleets, is in the midst of a CAD 14m equity capital raise.

The Vancouver-based company is pursuing the equity raise in support of its Prince George hydrogen fueling station, which is set to be operational in 2024 and would be the largest in the world, Hydra CEO Jessica Verhagan.

The equity portion of the financing is needed to unlock an additional CAD 150m debt facility to complete initial scale-up of the company’s planned hydrogen corridor along Highway 16 in Western Canada, Verhagan added.

Verhagan said the company is not working with a financial advisor on the capital raise but could issue RFPs for advisory services in the future. She declined to name the provider of the proposed debt facility, apart from clarifying that it was not government-sponsored.

“To date, Hydra has been signing up commercial fleets and building out its initial hydrogen refuelling infrastructure throughout Western Canada, but the company is about to announce expansion throughout the rest of the country via licensing to a national fossil fuel distributor looking to extend its low-carbon alternative fuel offerings,” the executive said via email.

Hydra’s target market to date has been the roughly 5 million Class 8 trucks within North America, Verhagan said, with the company aiming to “conservatively” capture 1% of that market by 2030 through commercial discussions already underway. Hydra is also exploring expansion into the UK as well as Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.

“Hydra’s initial focus has been on proving out its Hydrogen-as-a-ServiceTM (HaaSTM) template which includes the company providing its proprietary hydrogen-diesel, co-combustion conversion kits to commercial fleets at zero cost (in exchange for long-term hydrogen fuel contracts at diesel equivalent prices) as well as an initial hydrogen refuelling station to service 65 Hydra- converted trucks in Prince George, B.C.,” she said.

Verhagan said the company will announce its first electrolysis partner for the Prince George hydrogen refueling station early next year. The station will be able to refuel – as quickly as diesel – up to 24 Hydra-converted trucks each hour across four bays. The station will provide hydrogen from two onsite, 5 MW electrolyzers powered with electricity from BC Hydro.

“The adoption of Hydra’s technology really comes down to availability of low carbon hydrogen – showing fleets it’s possible to go green cost-effectively – and government support to utilize hydrogen to reduce trucking emissions right now,” Verhagan said.

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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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