Resource logo with tagline

IRS releases proposed regulations for 45V

The IRS has proposed strict rules for its approach to clean hydrogen tax credit qualifications.

Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released proposed regulations on the Clean Hydrogen Production Credit established by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

A link to the document that will be published in the Federal Register next week is here.

The agencies have taken the so-called three pillars approach for incrementality, temporal matching, and deliverability. These requirements are crucial, the IRS says, for accounting for both existing and new electricity generation from biomass or fossil feedstock, as they inform the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impact of these sources.

The notice of public rulemaking will be open for public comment for 60 days once it is published in the Federal Register.

The NPRM is supported by a technical paper from DOE that considers how to assess lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with hydrogen production using electricity.

Incrementality:

  • The incrementality requirement is met if the Electricity Attribute Certificate (EAC) is related to an electricity generating facility with a Commercial Operation Date (COD) no more than 36 months before the related hydrogen production facility was placed in service. This requirement ensures that the energy production contributing to the EAC is relatively recent and relevant to the current energy market conditions​​.
  • Recognizing the difficulty in identifying specific electricity generators and the times and places for incrementality, the IRS is considering alternative approaches, including a proxy approach. This approach would consider five percent of the hourly generation from minimal-emitting electricity generators (like wind, solar, nuclear) to meet the incrementality requirement, still subject to temporal matching and deliverability requirements​​.

Temporal Matching:

  • The temporal matching requirement generally mandates that the EAC represents electricity generated in the same hour as the hydrogen production facility’s consumption of electricity. A transition rule allows, until January 1, 2028, for EACs representing electricity generated in the same calendar year as the hydrogen production to meet this requirement. This approach aims to address significant indirect emissions from electricity use​​.

Deliverability:

  • The deliverability requirement stipulates that the EAC must represent electricity generated by a source in the same region as the hydrogen production facility. This ensures a reasonable assurance of the electricity’s deliverability to the intended location​​.

In addition to these specific requirements, the document discusses how these concepts might be applied differently in the context of renewable natural gas (RNG) or biogas, taking into account the different emission sources, markets, tracking methods, and potential incentives​​.

The IRS and the Treasury Department are actively seeking feedback on these proposed regulations, particularly concerning the practical implementation and verification of these requirements.

Unlock this article

The content you are trying to view is exclusive to our subscribers.
To unlock this article:

You might also like...

OPAL Fuels inks credit facility led by Apollo credit arm

The $500m credit facility will fund the RNG company’s growth initiatives. Apollo’s infrastructure credit arm, Apterra, led the deal.

OPAL Fuels Inc., a vertically integrated producer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable electricity, has closed on a new $500m senior secured credit facility, according to a news release.

The credit facility consolidates certain existing indebtedness and provides approximately $300 million in availability, which is anticipated to be used principally for development and construction of renewable energy projects.

“The closing of this Credit Facility provides OPAL Fuels significant liquidity and financial flexibility to fund our strategic growth initiatives,” said Jonathan Maurer, co-chief executive officer of OPAL Fuels. “This facility further supports growth through the funding of the next phase of our Advanced Development Pipeline. It also streamlines the balance sheet and strengthens our standing as a leading, vertically integrated presence in the industry.”

Apterra Infrastructure Capital LLC functioned as Sole Bookrunner and Syndication Agent for the Credit Facility and Bank of America, N.A. is Administrative Agent.

Read More »

Enbridge enters JV for Permian to Gulf Coast pipeline

The JV with Whitewater/I Squared Capital and MPLX will develop, construct, and operate natural gas pipeline and storage assets connecting the Permian Basin natural to growing LNG and U.S. Gulf Coast demand.

Enbridge Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement with WhiteWater/I Squared Capital and MPLX LP (“MPLX”) to form a joint-venture that will develop, construct, own, and operate natural gas pipeline and storage assets connecting Permian Basin natural gas supply to growing LNG and U.S. Gulf Coast demand, according to a news release.

Highlights:
  • Acquiring a meaningful, strategic equity interest in the joint venture
  • Immediately accretive to DCF per share, with ~90% contracted cash flows
  • Receiving immediate, recurring, and growing cash flow from operating assets with minimal commodity exposure
  • Optimizes balance sheet by increasing EBITDA and reducing Enbridge’s share of future Rio Bravo pipeline project capex proportional to its economic interest in that project
  • Embedded organic expansion opportunities provides attractive growth options and diversifies offtake

The joint venture will be owned by WhiteWater/I Squared (50.6%), MPLX (30.4%), and Enbridge (19.0%) and will include the following assets:

  • 100% interest in Whistler pipeline, a ~450-mile, 42-inch intrastate pipeline transporting natural gas from an interconnect with the Waha Header in the Permian Basin to Agua Dulce, TX, near the starting point of the proposed Rio Bravo pipeline
  • 100% interest in the Rio Bravo pipeline project, ~137-miles of new 42-inch and 48-inch pipelines transporting natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG project in Brownsville, Texas
  • 70% interest in ADCC pipeline, a ~40-mile, 42-inch proposed intrastate pipeline designed to transport 1.7 Bcf/d of natural gas from the terminus of the Whistler pipeline in Agua Dulce, TX to Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG export facility (the pipeline is expected to be in-service in Q3 2024 and is expandable up to 2.5 Bcf/d)
  • 50% interest in Waha Gas Storage, a ~2.0 Bcf gas storage cavern facility, with additional topside facilities capable of injection and withdrawal

Approximately 98% of capacity is contracted under long-term, take-or-pay contracts with an average contract length greater than 10 years. Approximately 90% of counterparties are investment grade and include leading operators in the Permian Basin.

Upon closing of the transaction, Enbridge will contribute its wholly-owned Rio Bravo pipeline project and $350m in cash to the joint venture, and will fund the first $150m of the post-closing capex to complete the Rio Bravo pipeline project. Enbridge will receive a 19% equity interest in the joint venture and retain a 25% economic interest in the Rio Bravo pipeline project (subject to certain redemption rights of the joint venture partners).

“Acquiring a meaningful equity interest in an integrated Permian natural gas pipeline and storage network that is directly connected to our existing infrastructure at Agua Dulce through this JV with WhiteWater/I Squared and MPLX is very exciting. This is a great way to enhance our super-system approach, bringing energy supply to places where it is needed most and providing last mile connectivity to domestic and export customers,” said Cynthia Hansen, EVP and President, Gas Transmission and Midstream of Enbridge.

Enbridge will be contributing its Rio Bravo pipeline project, which will extend the joint venture’s current infrastructure to serve LNG and other customers on the USGC. Enbridge’s share of the post-closing capex to complete the Rio Bravo pipeline project will be 100% of the first $150m and, thereafter, proportionate to its aggregate economic interest in that project.

This transaction is expected to unlock future growth opportunities for Enbridge to connect sustainable natural gas production to export markets as part of its USGC strategy.

“The transaction optimizes our investment capacity by increasing the efficiency of our capital. We will begin receiving immediate cash flow and will share in future growth opportunities,” said Pat Murray, EVP and Chief Financial Officer of Enbridge. “Having access to new Permian natural gas infrastructure enhances and increases the visibility of our medium-term growth outlook, while being accretive to our balance sheet.”

Closing is expected in the second quarter of 2024, subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Read More »

Hydrogen Council, McKinsey 2023 hydrogen report summarized

The hydrogen industry faces challenges due to high costs and regulatory uncertainty despite significant advances this year, according to the report.

The global hydrogen economy is witnessing significant growth, with more than 1400 projects announced, marking an increase from about 1040 last year, according to the 2023 Hydrogen Insights report from The Hydrogen Council and McKinsey. 

These projects, amounting to a total investment of  $570bn, aim to supply 45 million tons per annum of clean hydrogen by 2030. Europe leads in project numbers (540), followed by North America (248), with a quarter of these projects already past the final investment decision (FID) stage. 

Notably, investments are maturing, with $110bn allocated for front-end engineering and design (FEED) and beyond, a 60% growth in such investments. Electrolysis deployment has also surged, surpassing 1 GW, with approximately 12 GW capacity having passed FID​​.

However, the clean hydrogen industry faces challenges, particularly in the cost of producing renewable hydrogen. The estimated levelized cost of producing renewable hydrogen (LCOH) is currently about $4.5 to $6.5 per kilogram, an increase of 30% to 65% due to factors like higher labor and material costs. Despite this, costs are expected to decline to $2.5 to $4.0 per kg by 2030, driven by advancements in electrolyzer technology, manufacturing economies of scale, and reductions in renewable power cost​​.

The regulatory landscape is evolving but uncertainties persist, the report notes, including the requirements for receiving production tax credits under the US Inflation Reduction Act and the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive in EU member states​​.

Investment growth is evident across most regions. Europe not only has the most projects but also the highest total investments announced ($193bn). Latin America, despite fewer projects than North America, has announced the second-largest volume of investments ($85bn), attributed to larger project sizes and a higher share of giga-scale renewable hydrogen projects. North America’s announcements grew by about 20%, reflecting continued momentum following policy developments. India, the Middle East, and China also showed significant growth in investments​​.

In terms of electrolysis capacity, over 305 GW has been announced through 2030, with China leading in capacity past FID, accounting for about 55% of the 12 GW total. The European investment pipeline has 40 GW (about 45%) at least in the planning stage, and Latin America contributes 20% of all announced volumes through 2030. However, less than 5% of renewable hydrogen supply investments are currently committed, indicating a need for significant acceleration in project development and scaling up of supply chains and manufacturing capacity​​.

Read More »
exclusive

Caliche CEO talks hydrogen and CO2 storage expansion

Following the acquisition of assets in Texas and California, Caliche Development Partners CEO Dave Marchese discusses opportunities for growth in the hydrogen and C02 storage market.

Caliche Development Partners II has made a pair of acquisitions with the aim of expanding into growing hydrogen and CO2 storage markets in Texas and California, CEO Dave Marchese said in an interview.

The company, which is backed by Orion Infrastructure Capital and GCM Grosvenor, this week announced the purchase of Golden Triangle Storage, in Beaumont, Texas; and the anticipated acquisition of Central Valley Gas Storage, in Northern California – two regions with increasing demand for storage to support variable power loads, natural gas liquefaction, and high penetrations of renewable resources.

Caliche and seller Southern Company did not use financial advisors for the transaction. Caliche used Willkie Farr as its law firm for the financing and the transactions.

Marchese, who has a private equity background and first worked on a successful investment in a fuel cell company in the year 2000, has also racked up years of experience investing in and operating underground storage assets. The Caliche team developed and sold a natural gas liquids and helium storage business – called Coastal Caverns – earlier this year.

“We know how to put things underground and keep them there, including very small molecules, and we have relationships with many of the customers that are using hydrogen today,” he said.

Roughly a third of the industrial CO2 emissions on the Gulf Coast come from the Golden Triangle area, a region in Southeast Texas between the cities of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange. Much of this CO2 comes from the steam methane reformers that are within 15 miles of Caliche’s newly acquired Golden Triangle asset, Marchese said. The site is in similar proximity to pipelines operated by the air companies – Air Products, Air Liquide, and Praxair – that run from Corpus Christi to New Orleans.

“We’re within 15 miles of 90% of the hydrogen that’s flowing in this country today,” he added. “Pipeline systems need a bulk storage piece to balance flows. We can provide storage for an SMR’s natural gas, storage for its hydrogen, and we can take away captured CO2 if the plant is blue.”

The Golden Triangle site, which sits on the Spindletop salt dome, has room and permits for nine caverns total, with two currently in natural gas service. Three of those caverns are permitted for underground gas storage. “We could start a hydrogen well tomorrow if we had a customer for it,” Marchese said.

The Central Valley assets in Northern California are also positioned for expansion, under the belief that the California market will need natural gas storage for some time to support the integration of renewables onto the grid, he said. Additionally, the assets have all of the safety, monitoring and verification tools for sequestration-type operations, he added, making it a good location to start exploring CO2 sequestration in California. “We think it’s an expansion opportunity,” he said.

“Being an operator in the natural gas market allows us to enter those other markets with a large initial capital investments already covered by cash flowing business, so it allows us to explore incrementally the hydrogen and CO2 businesses rather than having to be a new entrant and invest in all the things you need to stand up an operation.”

Caliche spent $186m to acquire the two assets, following a $268m commitment from Orion and GCM. The balance of the financial commitment will support expansion.

“We’re capitalized such that we have the money to permit, build, and operate wells for potential CO2 sequestration customers,” he said. “The relationship with these stable, large investors also meets the needs of expansion projects: if somebody wanted not only a hydrogen well but compressors as well, we have access to additional capital for underwritten projects to put those into service.”

Read More »
exclusive

Developer Profile: Green hydrogen developer finds strength in numbers

Clean Energy Holdings is assembling a coalition of specialized companies as it seeks to break into the novel green hydrogen market.

Nicholas Bair draws a direct line from his childhood on an Oregon dairy farm to the coalition of specialized companies that, as the CEO of Clean Energy Holdings, he is now assembling in pursuit of key-player status in the green hydrogen industry.

“We created our own milk from our own hay,” he says, of his family’s organic dairy farm in Klamath Falls, near the California border. He adds, using an expression he often repeats: “Everything was inside the battery limits.”

This phrase – “inside the battery limits” – represents what Bair, who is forty-one and a chemist by trade, is trying to achieve with The Alliance: a broad, self-contained battery of partners with specialized competencies working in coordination on the challenges of developing and operating groundbreaking green hydrogen projects.

“We’re doing everything from soup to nuts,” he says.

CEH and The Alliance are planning to build roughly $1bn worth of projects per year over the next ten years, Bair says. As a launching point, the parties are advancing a green hydrogen facility – called Clear Fork – near Sylvester, Texas that would churn out 30,000 kg per day in phase 1 starting in 4Q24. The hydrogen would be produced using electrolyzers powered by a 325 MW solar farm, while ancillary facilities at the site would be powered by a gas turbine capable of blending up to 70% hydrogen.

As members of The Alliance, Equix Inc. is acting as the EPC for the solar and gas turbine portion of the project, while Chart Industries is providing tankers, trailers, and liquefaction to transport hydrogen from the site in northwest Texas. Meanwhile, Hartford Steam Boiler – an original contributor to standards written by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – will provide quality assurance and control; Coast 2 Coast Logistics is responsible for trucking; and The Eastman Group provides permitting and facilities management.

‘First-of-kind’

Although a renewable project, the green hydrogen concept is similar to most refinery EPC contracts, since many of them are first-of-kind with significant liquidated damages, Bair says. Additionally, the green hydrogen projects are “married to renewables, and you need the cryogenics and the distribution in between.”

Before starting Clean Energy Holdings, Bair was the founder and CEO of Bair Energy, a program and construction manager for infrastructure and energy projects – a service that Bair Energy is providing as a member of the Alliance. A period of low natural gas prices made Bair Energy’s specialty – geothermal power – less competitive, and Bair, seeking to develop his own projects instead of managing projects for others, sought to branch out into new types of energies.

Bair Energy itself consists of professionals that have been cherry-picked from the industry, Bair says. Candice McGuire, a veteran of Shell and Technip, is Bair’s chairman; chief operations officer John Strawn recently joined from Technip; and wind-industry veteran Peder Hansen has joined as VP and chief engineering manager.

“Our experience on the team is taking first-of-kind, developing it, and getting it to market,” he says. With The Alliance, “We went out and found the best at what they do, put them on lump-sum order, and brought them to the table early to figure out how to make their product talk to the other person’s product, so we can have a guarantee,” he says.

What distinguishes Clean Energy Holdings from other green hydrogen developers is, in fact, the coalition it is building, says Elizabeth Sluder, a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright who is CEH’s legal advisor.

“It’s intended to be one-stop shopping in a vertically integrated structure such that as and when needed for future CEH projects or third party projects that are identified, you have all the various players you need to take it from point A to point B,” she adds.

Because the parties are on standby with a common goal, CEH and its partners can provide lump-sum turnkey services, with some element of bulk pricing potentially factored in, because savings are generated through not having to issue RFPs for partners in future projects.

“The savings in time and money is, I would expect, very valuable,” Sluder says. “And when you apply those principles to long-term strategy and equity investment-type opportunities, the lower capex spend should theoretically benefit the project at large.”

Keeping the pieces moving

Bair runs CEH alongside Co-Founder and President Cornelius Fitzgerald. The two met as children – Fitzgerald was raised on a nearby cattle farm in southern Oregon – and enjoy the uncommon chemistry of childhood friends.

In something of classic pairing, “I’m much more the trumpet, paving the path,” Bair says, while Fitzgerald “usually keeps the pieces moving.”

“Sometimes Cornelius has had the best cup of coffee and takes the lead in meetings. And sometimes I do,” he says. “It’s that ability to rely on each other that set the basis of design in my mind for what a good partner looks like.”

Fitzgerald says they approach the challenge of breaking new ground in green hydrogen with “quiet confidence and humility.” By having a big picture vision as well as “credible and tangible fundamentals for the project” – like land, resource, and water control – the project moved from an idea to a reality, he adds.

“And really we’ve been driving at how to get the best experience and expertise at the table as early as possible,” Fitzgerald says.

Equix, Inc, a civil engineering firm, joined the grouping to build the solar and gas generation portion of the facility, representing the company’s first-ever foray into a hydrogen project, says Tim LeVrier, a vice president of business development at the firm.

“There are many challenges integrating all these types of power sources and energy into creating hydrogen,” Levrier says. “From an electrical engineering standpoint it is extremely challenging to coordinate power switching from one source to another. Another consideration we are having to work through is what to do in regards to producing hydrogen at night. Will there be a battery portion to the project or do we just not produce hydrogen when it is dark? These are all things we are considering and will have to find creative solutions for.”

‘Pathological believer’

CEH recently added Chart Industries to The Alliance, which in addition to furnishing liquefaction, tanks and trailers to move hydrogen, will provide fin fans for cooling and a reverse osmosis system for cleaning water. “We don’t want to give away all our secrets,” Bair says, “but it’s a very efficient process.”

The unique perspective and expertise of partners in The Alliance makes for a fulsome ecosystem around any CEH project, says Jill Evanko, CEO of Chart Industries. With respect to CEH’s projects, Evanko says they are “very targeted, which, with focus, will continue to help evolve the hydrogen economy.”

“Chart’s hydrogen liquefaction process as well as associated hydrogen equipment including storage tanks and trailers” – which the company has been manufacturing for over 57 years – “will be sole-source provided into the project. This will allow for efficient engineering and manufacturing to the CEH Clear Fork project schedule,” she says.

In any molecule value chain, hydrogen included, Chart serves customers that are the producers of the molecule, those who store and transport it as well as those who are the end users, Evanko adds. “This allows us to connect those who are selling the molecule with those who need it.”

Looking ahead, CEH is preparing to meet with investors in the lead-up to an April, 2023 final investment decision deadline for the Texas project. And it is being advised by RockeTruck for another RFP seeking fuel cell vehicles to transport hydrogen from the site as the trucks become available – a design that will likely include hydrogen fueling stations at the production facility as well as at the Port of Corpus Christi, Bair says.

CEH also has plans to develop its own geothermal plants and explore the role that nuclear energy can play in green hydrogen. Bair Energy recently hired Eric Young as its VP of engineering and technology from NuScale, where he worked on the research team that received approvals from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a small modular nuclear reactor.

“We’re a technology-driven owner-operator,” Bair says. “We’re all technologists, which means we’re pathological believers in technology. We’re all looking for transformational energy.”

Read More »
exclusive

Advisor Profile: Cameron Lynch of Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners

The veteran engineer and financial advisor sees widespread opportunity for capital deployment into early-stage renewable fuel companies.

Cameron Lynch, co-founder and managing partner at Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners, sees prodigious opportunity to pick up mandates in the hydrogen sector as young companies and early movers attract well-capitalized investors looking for auspicious valuations.

The firm, a three-year-old boutique investment banking outfit with offices in New York and Houston, is broadly committed to the energy transition, but is recruiting for new personnel with hydrogen expertise, Lynch said, adding that he is preparing for a new level of dealmaking in the new year.

“I think we can all expect 2023 will be even more of a record year, just given the appetite for hydrogen,” Lynch said. “Hydrogen is one of our core focuses for next year.”

Cameron Lynch

Lynch started his career as a civil & structural engineer and moved into capital equipment manufacturing and leasing for oil & gas, and also industrial gasses –things like cryoge

nic handling equipment for liquid nitrogen. He started the London office of an Aberdeen, U.K.-based M&A firm, before repeating that effort in New York.

Founding EIAP, Lynch and his business partner Sean Shafer have turned toward the energy transition and away from conventional energy. The firm works on the whole of decarbonization but has found the most success in the hydrogen space.

Earlier lifecycle, better valuations

Hydrogen intersects with oil& gas, nuclear, chemicals, midstream companies, and major manufacturing.

Large private equity funds that want to get into the space are realizing that if they don’t want to pay “ridiculous valuations for hydrogen companies” they must take on earlier-stage risk, Lynch said.

Interest from big private equity is therefore comparatively high for early-stage capital raising in the hydrogen sector, Lynch said, particularly where funds have the option to deploy more capital in the future, Lynch said.

“They’re willing to take that step down to what would normally be below their investment threshold.”

Lynch, who expects to launch several transactions in the coming months with EIAP, has a strong background in oil & gas, and views hydrogen valuations as a compelling opportunity now.

“It’s very refreshing to be working on stuff that’s attracting these superb valuations,” Lynch said.

There’s a lot of non-dilutive money in the market and the Inflation Reduction Act has been a major boon to investors, Lynch said. For small companies, getting a slice of the pie is potentially life changing.

Sean Shafer

The hydrogen space is not immune to the macroeconomic challenges that renewables have faced in recent months and years, Lynch said. But as those same challenges have accelerated the move toward energy security, hydrogen stands to benefit.

Supply chain issues post-COVID pose a potential long-term concern in the industry, and equity and debt providers question the availability of compressors and lead times.

“I would say that’s one of the key issues out there,” Lynch said. There’s also the question of available infrastructure and the extent to which new infrastructure will be built out for hydrogen.

EIAP sees the most convincing uses for hydrogen near term in light-weight mobility and aerospace, Lynch said. The molecule also has a strong use case in back-up generation.

Hydrogen additionally presents companies in traditional fossil fuel verticals the opportunity to modernize, Lynch said, citing a secondary trade EIAP completed earlier this year

California’s Suburban Propane Partners acquired a roughly 25% equity stake in Ashburn, Virginia-based Independence Hydrogen, Inc. The deal involved the creation of a new subsidiary, Suburban Renewable Energy, as part of its long-term strategic goal of building out a renewable energy platform.

Read More »

Welcome Back

Get Started

Sign up for a free 15-day trial and get the latest clean fuels news in your inbox.