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Clean Energy and Maas partner for 9 RNG newbuilds

Financed by Clean Energy, the nine sites are forecasted to cost approximately $130m in total.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the largest provider of the cleanest fuel for the transportation market, and Maas Energy Works, the nation’s largest dairy digester developer, have entered a new joint development agreement to build nine renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities at dairy farms across seven states.

The new partnership will include dairies located in Colorado, South Dakota, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska and New Mexico, and will collect the manure from a combined herd size of approximately 35,000 cows preventing the methane emissions from entering the atmosphere, according to a news release.

The nine projects, each subject to finalizing diligence before beginning construction, are expected to be completed in 2026 and will produce up to an estimated 4 million gallons of ultra-clean RNG annually, a negative carbon-intensity transportation fuel which will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.

Industry pioneer Maas Energy Works has completed over 60 dairy digester projects over the past decade. The team specializes in lagoon cover digesters which involve a large tarp over a manure lagoon to capture the methane emissions. This process makes these facilities significantly less expensive to build and operate compared to tank digesters seen at other RNG plants. Financed by Clean Energy, the nine sites are forecasted to cost approximately $130 million in total.

“This JV brings together expertise from a seasoned RNG developer and producer and Clean Energy’s extensive RNG distribution network and growing RNG customer base. We are excited to continue our long working relationship with the team at Maas Energy Works to get these facilities online and producing pipeline quality RNG to help supply our transportation fleet customers with clean fuel to help them meet their sustainability goals,” said Clay Corbus, senior vice president at Clean Energy.

“This joint venture is clear proof that family farms paired with private businesses are an unstopped force in achieving decarbonization. If the markets for renewable fuels are clear and consistent, then American’s biogas industry will deliver. We will soon be capturing fugitive manure emissions and turning them into carbon-negative truck fuel with our partners at Clean Energy,” said Daryl Maas, CEO of Maas Energy Works.

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Williams and Daroga sign MoU to find offtake options

The companies will identify long-term end-use customers for clean hydrogen and offtake options for environmental attributes generated by hydrogen production in Wyoming.

Williams has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Daroga Power to identify long-term end-use customers for clean hydrogen and offtake options for environmental attributes generated by hydrogen production in Wyoming.

Williams plans to leverage its nationwide assets for the blending, storage and transportation of clean hydrogen to local and regional markets, including the Pacific Northwest via the company’s 4,000-mile bi-directional Northwest Pipeline transmission system that passes through Wyoming.

Deliveries of hydrogen could begin as soon as 2025.

The company is currently working with the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources to evaluate hydrogen production and the impacts of hydrogen blending on existing energy infrastructure in Wyoming. The research is funded by a grant from the Wyoming Energy Authority and is expected to be complete in 2023.

Daroga is a New York-based investor and developer of distributed generation energy assets, including hydrogen fuel cells and solar power generation.

Beyond Wyoming, Williams has joined several recently launched industry-led regional alliances including Appalachian Energy Future (AEF) and Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, or Arch2. Williams is also engaged with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).. Williams has identified two potential projects to deliver hydrogen in New York and New Jersey using the company’s existing infrastructure.

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Air Products to build commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Edmonton

The hydrogen refueling station will be Air Products’ first in Canada and the first commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Alberta.

Air Products, the world’s largest producer of hydrogen, plans to build a multi-modal hydrogen refueling station near its new net-zero hydrogen energy complex under construction in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The hydrogen refueling station will be Air Products’ first in Canada and the first commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Alberta. The station plans were announced today at the Canadian Hydrogen Convention during a fireside chat with Eric Guter, Air Products’ Global Vice President, Hydrogen for Mobility.

“This station is the next step in Air Products’ commitment to Edmonton and the province of Alberta and will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout Canada to grow the hydrogen economy, reduce emissions and assist Canada on its path to achieving net-zero by 2050,” said Guter. “Canada is well-positioned to be a leader in the clean energy future, and we are proud to build on Air Products’ investment in Western Canada to help accelerate the use of hydrogen as an emissions-free transportation fuel across the nation.”

The hydrogen refueling station is supported in part by $1 million (CAD) in funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

The new station will include two hydrogen refueling lanes with dispensers for heavy-duty vehicles such as commercial and municipal trucks, and Air Products’ own truck fleet, with a filling time on par with conventionally fueled heavy-duty trucks. In addition, the station also will have two fueling positions for light-duty hydrogen fuel cell cars. The state-of-the-art, high-capacity, high-efficiency station is scheduled to open in early 2025 and will be available to retail customers. Using proprietary compression technology, the station will have a capacity of up to six tonnes of hydrogen per day. It will be located in Northeast Edmonton near Air Products’ transformative new $1.6bn (CAD) net-zero hydrogen energy complex.

The complex will use an advanced process technology that enables the cost-effective capture of more than 90 percent of carbon emissions for permanent sequestration safely underground. In addition, to avoid the indirect emissions associated with using grid electrical power, the project includes a 100 percent hydrogen-fueled power generation unit. This unit is oversized to power the production facility and supply clean power to the Alberta grid.

The complex also will be integrated with neighboring Imperial Oil Limited’s new renewable diesel facility, using innovative engineering. Imperial will produce renewable diesel from locally sourced non-petroleum feedstocks, using a process that produces a biogenic renewable off-gas (ROG) by-product. This ROG will be used as a feedstock within the Air Products hydrogen complex, displacing natural gas and further enhancing the overall carbon emissions profile. The combination of utilizing a renewable feedstock and power export more than offset the remaining 10 percent needed to achieve net-zero at the new hydrogen production facility.

The net-zero facility will connect to Air Products’ existing 55-kilometer pipeline network in the Alberta Heartland to help refining and petrochemical customers reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and products.

Air Products also has announced plans to open a new project delivery office in Edmonton. The Global Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Equipment office will be a cross-functional space including engineering, product, process gas, and air separation unit product line functions.

Air Products currently operates three hydrogen production facilities in Alberta, and also operates a hydrogen production facility, a 30-kilometer pipeline network and a liquefaction facility in Sarnia, Ontario.

Air Products works across all facets of the hydrogen value chain, including production, distribution, storage and dispensing and has been a pioneer in hydrogen fueling for decades.

The company operates the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline system, located in the U.S. Gulf Coast, and is a world-class liquid hydrogen supplier. Air Products has hands-on operating experience with over 250 hydrogen fueling station projects in 20 countries and the company’s technologies are used in over 1.5 million fueling operations annually.

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HSB joining Green Hydrogen and Technology Alliance

The engineering and technical risk insurer will focus on inspection test plans and storage and transportation solutions.

HSB has joined the Clean Energy Holdings Renewable Energy and Technology Alliance Platform, according to a press release.

The engineering and technical risk insurer, based in Hartford, Connecticut, has been a member of Munich Re’s Risk Solutions family since 2009. Its role in the group will be to focus on inspection test plans and storage and transportation solutions.

The Alliance comprises Clean Energy Holdings (with ING Americas as financial advisor), Bair Energy, Chart Industries, Equix, RockeTruck, Coast 2 Coast Logistics, and The Eastman Group.

“As the largest Authorized Inspection Agency (AIA) accredited by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), HSB’s contribution to the Renewable Energy and Technology Alliance will focus on defining safe plans for this clean energy emerging industry,” the release states.

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3Q deals in focus: Macquarie’s investment in Atlas Agro

In one of the largest and most compelling clean fuels deals of 3Q23, Macquarie made a $325m investment into Americas-focused Atlas Agro, a developer of industrial-scale green nitrogen fertilizer plants that utilize green hydrogen as a feedstock. William Demas, head of Macquarie Asset Management Green Investments in the Americas, provides a closer look.

Macquarie Asset Management’s investment into green nitrogen developer Atlas Agro gives the manager a stake in the company along with the ability to invest in the developer’s projects.

The $325m investment, made via the Macquarie GIG Energy Transition Solutions fund, will benefit Atlas Agro’s previously announced fertilizer plant project in Richland, WA, and will also support the company’s global pipeline of green fertilizer facilities, according to William Demas, head of Macquarie Asset Management Green Investments in the Americas.

In addition to the 700,000 tons-per-year Richland project, Atlas Agro is pursuing a project in Minas Gerais, Brazil that will produce 500,000 tons per year. Both projects would make nitrate fertilizer and are estimated to cost $1bn. An additional facility is planned for the US Midwest.

In the production process, the plants utilize air, water, and renewable electricity as the only raw materials.

“There are a number of things that attracted us to Atlas Agro,” Demas said in response to written questions. “They have a strong management team with an established track record managing established companies and delivering projects in the fertilizer space.”

The GIG Energy Transition Solutions fund has a target size of approximately $1.9bn, which to date is just over 50% committed, according to a source familiar with the fund.

Next phase

Equally important for the Atlas investment, Demas added, is that the company is aligned with Macquarie’s next phase energy transition thesis in the US – in this case hydrogen. 

“In this application, green hydrogen will be used as a feedstock rather than as an energy carrier, and the end-product of green fertilizer will attract customers looking to enter into long-term offtake contracts,” he said.

Through the development of plants in Washington state and the US Midwest, Atlas Agro is seeking to take advantage of favorable logistics to displace the need for imported fossil-fuel based fertilizer. Brazil also imports around 95% of its nitrogen fertilizers, according to Atlas.

“An important benefit of Atlas Agro’s model is the availability of locally produced, high-quality fertilizer, eliminating many of the issues associated with international supply chains,” Demas said, noting that offtakers are local to Atlas Agro’s operations.

Further, Macquarie and Atlas plan to pursue a project finance model for funding the projects under development.

“As an infrastructure investor, we focus on opportunities that are bankable, which means, ultimately project financeable,” Demas said. “We backed Atlas Agro because we believe their approach to project development, commercialization, construction and operations aligns with our views on how to underwrite infrastructure investments.”

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Exclusive: Modular green ammonia firm launches capital raise

A modular green ammonia firm has hired a boutique investment bank and has launched a roughly $150m capital raise.

Talus Renewables, a developer of modular green ammonia projects, has hired a boutique investment bank and has launched a capital raise.

The company has hired GLC Advisors as sellside advisor, according to sources familiar with the matter, and launched the capital raise this month, which seeks to raise $50m of equity and an additional $100m of financing.

CEO Hiro Iwanaga told ReSource last year that the company was gearing up for a Series B capital raise, including initiating talks with potential advisors.

Talus offers containerized systems that produce green ammonia from power, water, and air, in the form of the TalusOne (up to 1.4 tonnes of green ammonia daily) and talusTen (up to 20 tonnes per day).

The company delivered its first system to Kenya Nut Company, a multinational agricultural firm in east Africa, under a 15-year fixed-price ammonia offtake agreement, Iwanaga said in the interview. As of November, the company had a pipeline of approximately $1bn of indicated interest for ammonia from potential customers, which included large farms and mining companies in several global jurisdictions, including the US.

It recently completed a $22m Series A fundraising that would fund the delivery of the next three to four systems before the end of the year, Iwanaga said, stretching Talus’ footprint to Europe and the US, with one more system heading to South America.

The company is deploying to large farms and mining companies, where ammonia is used as a blasting agent. In the US, the company has partnered with agribusiness Wilbur-Ellis and farmer-owned cooperative Landus, Iwanaga said.

Iwanaga and GLC did not respond to requests for comment about the recently launched capital raise.

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Exclusive: Residential microgrid developer to seek electrolysis partner, raise capital

A developer of planned microgrid communities will look for an electrolysis partner to provide green hydrogen for use in agricultural applications and is planning to go to market for platform equity and project debt.

Embark Fund and NOVA Constructors, a group of real estate development interests focused on developing three planned residential communities, will look for an electrolysis partner for its community microgrid development efforts, managing partner Craig McBurney said in an interview.

McBurney, who is also solar development manager for the South Carolina-based renewables developer Alder Energy, said the partners are in the process of acquiring land – between 1,500 and 2,000 acres per parcel – in Virginia, Maryland and Illinois. The latter project is the most advanced.

Each is for a planned residential community including microgrid development, he said. The communities will include renewables, which could be used to power electrolysis during times of low demand. He gave the example of a 30 MW solar ground array.  

“We are preparing to announce a [$60m to $80m] equity raise,” McBurney said, adding that between $240m and $300m of debt will also be required. The money will be used for site acquisition, development and EPC. “The whole capital stack is an opportunity.”  

The group has not formally engaged with an investment bank or financial advisor, he said. They will be targeting private equity, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices.

McBurney pointed to communities like Whisper Valley in Texas and Babcock Ranch in Florida as examples of his group’s efforts to develop sustainable off-grid communities.

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