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Duke Energy planning $100m Florida green hydrogen facility

The green hydrogen production and storage facility is planned for DeBary, Florida, adjacent to an operational solar farm owned by Duke.

Duke Energy is in the planning stages for a green hydrogen production and storage facility in DeBary, Florida, according to a local news report.

The utility estimates a cost of $100m for the project, which will be built on land adjacent to a 75 MW solar farm it owns, according the the report.

The DeBary City Council approved an amendment to  the company’s existing industrial planned-unit development to allow the project.

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Renewables developer snaps up wind, solar, and ammonia projects

Chicago-based Nova Clean Energy has acquired HyFuels, a portfolio of wind and solar development projects as well as an early stage green ammonia project.

Nova Clean Energy has acquired HyFuels, a more than 1 GW portfolio of mid-to-late-stage wind and solar development projects as well as an earlier stage green ammonia project.

Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, an area of rapidly increasing power demand and a leading center for American-produced ammonia, HyFuels is ideally situated to serve the petrochemical industry, ensuring Texas remains the global leader in this essential industry, according to a press release.

HyFuels, which has a current project footprint of about 25,000 acres, has a power supply that is split evenly between wind and solar, whose complementary generation profiles will ensure a steady supply of clean local power. The first phase of the project is expected to reach Full Notice to Proceed (NTP) in 2025 and Commercial Operations in 2026.

The parties did not use financial or legal advisors for the sale given their pre-existing relationship, a spokesperson for Bluestar Energy Capital, the backer of Nova, said in an email.

“Once the projects are built, they represent over $1.5 billion in CAPEX for the wind and solar sections alone,” the spokesperson added, noting that Bluestar provided financing for the acquisition. He declined to comment further.

HyFuels previously outlined its projects in filings with the Texas comptroller. The Big Spring project would be located eight miles west of Big Spring, Texas, along Interstate 20. Once operating, it would produce an estimated 400,000 tons of carbon-free hydrogen each year (about 1,100 tons per day), the company had said.

Meanwhile, its Green Lake project was described similarly in filings.

Nova acquired HyFuels from BNB Renewable Energy, a developer with a nearly 20-year track record of developing wind and solar projects across the United States and in Mexico, including for a range of industrial clients. Nova has entered into a long-term development services agreement with BNB, which originated the development in late 2020, ensuring full alignment on the successful delivery of the HyFuels project.

Since initially partnering in mid-2023, Nova and BNB have worked to advance the HyFuels complex, including completing necessary environmental surveys, securing a workable schedule for connection to the power grid, and ordering long lead-time equipment.

Commenting on the announcement, Ben Pratt, President of Nova Clean Energy, said, “The Texas grid is going to continue to need a variety of power sources to serve its fast-growing demand. Wind paired with solar provides a generation profile that industrial as well as utility customers increasingly want to see. We are excited to work with BNB on this important portfolio.”

Commenting on the announcement, Jos Nicholas, CEO of BNB, said, “Together, we and Nova look forward to working with and learning from this community in Calhoun and Victoria counties in order to bring low-cost electricity and green ammonia to this amazingly productive part of Texas and our nation’s economy.”

Since its formation in 2022, Nova has grown rapidly across wind, solar and battery storage. Nova’s project pipeline is positioned to benefit from 3 core themes: expansion and strengthening of transmission networks, new end-customer demand in areas like mobility, green fuels and AI, as well as growing build-transfer opportunities driven by increased utility ownership. With a project pipeline that now exceeds 5 GW of projects in 8 states and multiple power markets (including WECC, MISO & ERCOT), and with marked acceleration in each of its core development themes, Nova is positioned for rapid future growth.

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Danish partnership constructing green ammonia project

Danish companies Topsoe, Skovgaard Energy and Vestas have started construction of a demonstration plant in Lemvig, Denmark, that will produce green ammonia,

Danish companies Topsoe, Skovgaard Energy and Vestas have started construction of a demonstration plant in Lemvig, Denmark, that will produce green ammonia, according to a news release.

The plant will generate more than 5,000 ton green ammonia annually from 50 MW of new solar and 12 MW of existing wind.

The partnership has received DKK 81m from the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP).

“An important part of the climate action plan for Lemvig Municipality is to turn the areas’ many energy resources from wind and sun into new green fuels or other future potentials,” the release states.

The plant will be designed to adapt to fluctuations in power output from wind turbines and solar panels.  This will be done by integrating wind, solar, and electrolysis with an ammonia synthesis loop. In addition, the renewable energy generation will be connected directly to the national grid.

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TES moves into North America with appointment of Americas CEO

The Belgium-based company has appointed industry veteran Cynthia Walker to lead a new office in Houston.

TES has appointed Cynthia Walker as CEO of TES Americas and as Chief Strategy Officer of TES Group.

She will head the newly established office in Houston, Texas, according to a news release.

In these new roles, Cynthia will be responsible for building TES’ business in the Americas with an initial emphasis in the US and Canada and for supporting the development of the TES strategic plan and resource allocation. Cynthia joins a fast-growing, dynamic team at TES which is rapidly expanding as the company works towards achieving its objective to deliver affordable, green energy as a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels via its unique and pioneering business model, which combines hydrogen with recycled CO2 to create an efficient, circular, closed net-zero energy loop.

Commenting on the announcement, Marco Alverà, CEO of TES Group, said: “I am delighted to welcome Cynthia to our rapidly expanding and multinational team.  Cynthia is one of the most well-established energy executives and she holds significant expertise in execution, finance, and development. Her in-depth knowledge of the energy sector and broad skill set will fit in perfectly with TES’s game-changing mission to create a net-zero future. Having her on board will further enable us to bolster our growth strategy and our operations particularly in the North American market.”

Cynthia comes with twenty-four years of extensive leadership experience across multiple functional and operational areas within the energy industry, including P&L responsibility, operations, corporate and business development, commercial marketing, strategic planning and financial functions. Before joining TES, Cynthia was most recently Senior Vice President, Midstream & Marketing for Occidental Petroleum Corporation and previously Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Occidental in 2012, she was a Managing Director within the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs & Co.  She is an independent director of Sempra and Chord Energy.

Cynthia Walker, CEO of TES Americas and Chief Strategy Officer of TES Group, said: “I am thrilled to join the team at TES during this critical time in the industry as participants balance the priorities of providing clean, affordable and reliable energy.  The innovative approach at TES has the potential to unlock all of these priorities today with  North America positioned to play a key role. I look forward to working with my fellow TES teammates to advance our shared ambition to make a positive impact and to create value.”

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London-based hydrogen fund expanding in US

A UK-based investor in early-stage hydrogen companies has completely allocated its first two funds and is looking to grow its presence in the US.

AP Ventures, the London-based venture capital and private equity firm, will need new advisory relationships and offices in the US as it looks for investors and deployment opportunities there, Managing Partner Andrew Hinkly said in an interview.

The company has fully allocated its first two funds with 12 LPs, Hinkly said.

Fund 1 ($85m) is fully deployed with two of the LPs. Two realizations have come from that fund to date: the sale of United Hydrogen Group in Tennessee to Plug Power and the sale of Hyatt Hydrogen to Fortescue Future Industries.

Fund 2 ($315m) is fully allocated with 12 LPs, including the two from Fund 1. The portfolio includes 21 companies across the hydrogen value chain (ammonia for transport, liquefaction, electrolyzer production, compressor technology, etc.) at the seed, Series A and Series B stages.

“We believe we have a very differentiated set of capabilities and experiences because we are singularly focused on the hydrogen value chain,” Hinkly said.

The firm’s LPs include AngloAmerican, Equinor, Implats, Mitsubishi, Nyso Climate Investments, Pavilion Capital, Plastic Omnium, Public Investment Corporation, Sparx, Sumitomo, and Yara International.

Strategic advice need apply

In the near-term AP Ventures can offer deal flow, opportunities within portfolio companies for various professional services, and an understanding of the progression of hydrogen businesses for later-stage investors, Hinkly said.

Transactions to date have been conducted bilaterally with external legal counsel, Hinkly said. AP Ventures has yet to engage a financial advisor for that purpose.

“If you want to know about hydrogen and hydrogen deal flow, AP Ventures sees most of it,” Hinkley said. “We bring with us an ecosystem of fairly regular co-investors who are similarly interested in hydrogen.”

Co-investors include Amazon, Mitsuibishi, Chevron and Aramco.

Some of the firm’s more mature companies will take on strategic consulting services as they prepare for larger fundraising, Hinkly said.

“Clearly there are a series of advisory services that our portfolio companies require as they raise capital or subsequently look to acquire or be acquired,” he added.

Later-stage investors are keen to understand the development of AP’s portfolio, Hinkly said. Topco equity and larger-scale infrastructure investors have collaborative relationships with the firm as they prepare to acquire its portfolio companies in the future.

“We have a common interest in the continued development and maturity of the companies we’re investing in,” Hinkly said. “We have an ever-increasing roster of later-stage private equity investors who have a desire to maintain a dialog with us and to be introduced to our portfolio companies on a regular basis.”

New world opportunities

US portfolio companies could be in greater need of strategic advisory services in the near term than some of AP’s European holdings, Hinkly said.

The firm is looking to establish offices in the US with an eye on Denver and Houston, Hinkly said.

Greater support for hydrogen in the US under the IRA means European companies within AP Ventures’ portfolio are also looking to establish themselves in the US.

In terms of a target market, AP Ventures is particularly interested in Texas, which Hinkly said he expects will be the hydrogen capital of the world. Existing infrastructure, human capital and enormous wind and solar resources pair well with a willingness to build out the industry there, he said.

AP will continue investing in the full hydrogen value chain as it has been for years, identifying weak spots in the chain to strengthen the industry, Hinkly said. But moving forward, the firm would like to invest in carbon capture utilization and storage as well.

Scaling up with the industry

As the hydrogen industry grows and its portfolio companies scale, there is significant opportunity for AP Ventures to grow and provide more financing, Hinkly said.

“There is a huge requirement for capital and we are knowledgeable, very knowledgeable, of where good opportunities exist,” he said.

The nature of the firm’s early contracts gives them preferential access to those opportunities in some cases as well. Whether that would be best done directly with a new fund or partnership with a firm with complementary skills is an open question.

“That strategic question is one that’s frankly ahead of us this year.”

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Inside Intersect Power’s green hydrogen plans

California-based renewable energy developer Intersect Power anticipates huge capital needs for a quartet of regional energy complexes co-locating wind and solar with green hydrogen production in the Texas Gulf Coast, California and the American West.

Intersect Power, a solar developer that completed a $750m capital raise last year, is developing four large-scale green hydrogen projects that could eventually be spun off into a separate company, CEO Sheldon Kimber said in an interview.

Four regional complexes of 1 GW or more, co-located with renewables, are in development, he said. The first phases of those, totaling several hundred megawatts, will come online between 2026 and 2028.

Initial offtake markets include transportation, sustainable aviation fuel, and hydrogen for industrial use, Kimber said. Ultimately Intersect is aiming to serve ammonia exporters in the US Gulf Coast, particularly those exporting to Japan, Kimber said, adding that the company could contract with ammonia producers. He recently wrapped up a nine-day, fact-finding trip to Japan to better understand what he believes will be the end market for Intersect’s green ammonia.

“If you don’t know who your customer’s customer is, you’re going to get a bad deal,” Kimber said.

Intersects projects under development involve behind-the-meter electrolysis, co-located with Intersect’s wind and solar generation plants. In 2021 the company signed an MOU with electrolyzer manufacturer Electric Hydrogen. The contract is for 3 GW.

Intersect controls the land and is in the process of permitting the four projects, located in Texas, California and another western US location that Kimber declined to name. The primary focus now is commercial development of the offtake and transportation, he said.

‘Boatload of equity’

Kimber said the company will be ready to announced details of the projects when they are ready to seek financing. He estimates that upwards of $12bn will need to be raised for the package of complexes.

“There’s going to be an enormous need for capital,” Kimber said. Debt will make up between 60% and 90% of the raising, along with “a boatload of equity,” he said. Existing investors will likely participate, but as the numbers get bigger new investors will be brought on board.

Intersect has worked with BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley on past capital raise processes, and also has strong relationships with MUFG and Santander.

Moving forward the company could have a broader need for advisory services and could lend knowledge of the sector in an advisory capacity itself, Kimber said.

“The scope and scale of what we’re doing is big enough and the innovative aspect of what we’re doing is advanced enough that I think we have a lot we can bring to these early-stage financings,” Kimber said. “I think we’re going to be a good partner for advisory shops.”

In the short term Intersect has sufficient equity from its investors and is capitalized for the next 18-to-24 months, Kimber said. Last summer the company announced a $750m raise from TPG Rise Climate, CAI Investments and Trilantic Energy Partners North America.

“People don’t want to pay ahead for the growth in fuels,” Kimber said, adding that reaching commercial milestones will build a compelling valuation.

Intersect could spin off its hydrogen developments to capitalize them apart from renewables, Kimber said.

“Every single company in this space is looking at that,” he said. “Do you independently finance your fuels business?”

Avoiding the hype

Right now the opportunity to participate in hydrogen is blurry because there is so much hype following passage of the IRA, Kimber said. Prospective investors should be focused on picking the right partners.

“What you’re seeing right now is everybody believing the best thing for them,” Kimber said, noting that his company has decided to keep relatively quiet about its activities in the clean fuels space to avoid getting caught up in hype. “The IRA happened, and every electrolyzer company raised their prices by fifty percent.”

Of those companies that have announced hydrogen projects in North America, Kimber said he believes only a handful will be successful. Those companies that have successfully developed renewables projects of more than 500 MW are good candidates, as are companies that have managed to keep a fluid supply chain with equipment secured for the next five years.

“That is a very short list,” he said.

Lenders on the debt side will want to start determining how projects will get financed, and which projects to finance, in the next 18 months, Kimber said.

Finding those who have been innovating on the front-end for years and not just jumped in recently is a good start, Kimber said.

“Hydrogen will happen, make no mistake,” Kimber said. He pointed to the recent European directive that 45% of hydrogen on the continent be green by 2030 and Japan’s upcoming directive to potential similar effect. Once good projects reach critical points in their development they will start to trade, probably in late 2024, he said.

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It’s an electrolyzer – but for CO2

A New Jersey-based start-up is seeking to commercialize an electrocatalytic technology that transforms CO2 into a monomer for the plastics industry.

RenewCO2 is developing and seeking to commercialize a modular technology that converts waste CO2 into a usable product.

The New Jersey-based company is advancing a pilot project at an Ace Ethanol plant in Wisconsin that will take CO2 and convert it to monoethylene glycol, which can be used by the plastics industry.

The project was recently selected by the US DOE to receive a $500,000 grant. It seeks to demonstrate the technology’s ability to reduce the ethanol plant’s carbon footprint and produce a carbon-negative chemical.

In an interview, RenewCO2 co-founders Anders Laursen and Karin Calvinho said their technology, which was developed at Rutgers University, is geared toward carbon emitters who can not easily pipe away their CO2 and who may have use for the resulting product.


“It’s a matter of economics,” said Calvinho, who serves as the company’s CTO. Using the RenewCO2 technology, the ethanol plant or other user is able to keep 45Q tax incentives for capturing CO2 while also creating a product that generates an additional revenue stream.

Additionally, the modular design of the technology prevents emitters from having to build expensive pipeline infrastructure for CO2, she added. “We want to help to facilitate the use of the CO2 on site,” she said.

One of the goals of the project is to measure the carbon intensity of these technologies in combination, which ultimately depends on the electricity source for the electrochemical process, similar to an electrolyzer, Laursen, who is the CEO, said.

“The main constraint from a location point of view is the availability of reliable and affordable green power,” Laursen added.

Creating a market

The principal target market for RenewCO2’s technology is existing producers of monoethylene glycol (MEG), which is used to make recycled plastics, as well as ethanol producers and other emitters with purified CO2 streams.

Producers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – one of the most recycled plastics globally – are also potential customers since they use MEG in their production process and have CO2 sources on site.

“Right now, MEG produced in the US is, for the most part, not polymerized into PET – it’s shipped overseas for making PET plastics used in textiles, and then made into fibers or shipped further,” Laursen said. “So if you can shorten that transport chain, you can reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the final product.”

RenewCO2 is looking for partners to help build the modular units, and is evaluating the purchase of existing PEM electrolyzer units that can be reconfigured, or having the units custom manufactured.

“We’re talking to potential manufacturing partners and evaluating whether we should do the manufacturing ourselves,” Calvinho said. And if they choose the latter route, she added, “we will have to build our own facilities, but it’s early to say.”

The company has raised a total of $10m in venture investment and grant funding, including a pre-seed round of over $2m from Energy Transition Ventures, a Houston-based venture capital fund.

While not currently fundraising, Laursen said they are always taking calls to get to know the investors that are interested in the space. He added that the company may need to raise additional capital in 12 to 18 months.

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