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Low-carbon infrastructure firm nets $50m growth equity investment

The investment round was led by an affiliate of Greenbacker Capital Management, with participation from the Ontario Power Generation Pension Fund and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Nexus PMG has closed a $50m growth equity round, led by an affiliate of Greenbacker Capital Management LLC, with participation from the Ontario Power Generation Pension Fund and Liberty Mutual Insurance, according to a news release.

The close of this investment represents a significant milestone as the firm builds upon a decade of experience in the low-carbon waste-to-value sector and will enable Nexus PMG to rapidly expand its services business and project development business lines in North America.

The world of sustainable fuels, biomass and other waste-to-value asset classes is highly complex. As an early mover in the low-carbon infrastructure sector, Nexus PMG’s services business has supported more than 80 unique investors and has advised on over 500 unique infrastructure assets. With the new round of capital, Nexus PMG intends to expand its existing core service offerings including front-end engineering and design, development-as-a-service and operational turnaround. Nexus also leverages its deep knowledge in the space to develop greenfield and brownfield assets across North America, creating low-carbon (or even carbon-negative) products to reduce the emissions of tough-to-abate sectors like chemicals production and aviation.

“Nexus PMG’s strategy of consulting for, and directly developing in, the waste-to-value space is an attractive, high-growth proposition,” said Quinn Pasloske, a Principal at Greenbacker. “The transformation of our waste infrastructure and the production of low-carbon fuels is a critical component of the global energy transition, but the assets are challenging. Nexus PMG is well-equipped to assist clients in navigating those complexities while advancing its independent platforms and assets.”

Today, Nexus PMG serves upwards of 100 investors, developers and corporations that collectively have more than $300 billion of energy transition assets under management and more than $1 trillion of global assets under management. To date, Nexus PMG has supported various stages of development and execution on more than $35 billion worth of low-carbon infrastructure projects across 26 U.S. states, 13 countries and five continents. With a decade of deep knowledge and experience consulting on the design, bid and build side of low-carbon infrastructure, where Nexus PMG works closely with the owners and financiers of these projects, the company’s services business is primed for growth. In the next phase, Nexus PMG will hire additional talent and expand its offerings and client base, while continuing to tailor to industry needs.

“Green molecule infrastructure is rapidly advancing and is a critical component of the energy transition,” said Ryan Bisch, board member of Nexus. “Nexus is at the forefront of building and optimizing this type of infrastructure. The company can develop new assets and revitalize existing ones to produce cost-competitive molecules that can reduce or even eliminate harmful greenhouse gasses.”

Nexus PMG also develops assets through two separate subsidiaries: Nexus W2V, which focuses on converting organic waste streams into renewable natural gas, compost products and biochar; and Pathway Energy, which focuses on the production of ultra-low-carbon intensity sustainable aviation fuel by leveraging carbon sequestration. Both subsidiaries are developing greenfield infrastructure assets and expect to commercialize these assets over the next several years.

“Today, as corporations and investors strive to meet near- and long-term sustainability goals, we find that most have existing portfolio assets with a waste component that can be valorized,” said Ben Hubbard, CEO of Nexus PMG. “Helping corporates in those waste-to-value asset classes is essential to achieve our larger energy transition goals and now, as an institutionally backed firm, we’re looking forward to expanding our team to meet a growing demand for low-carbon infrastructure subject matter expertise.”

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Electric Hydrogen raises $380m

The Massachusetts-based electrolyzer maker has completed a Series C funding round to accelerate manufacturing and deployment.

Electric Hydrogen has completed an oversubscribed $38m Series C financing.

The new capital will accelerate the company’s manufacturing and deployment plans to meet strong customer demand for its power-dense green hydrogen systems, according to a news release.

The funding round was led by Fortescue, Fifth Wall and Energy Impact Partners and included new investors bp Ventures, Oman Investment Authority, Temasek, Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund, the United Airlines Sustainable Flight Fund, New Legacy, Kajima Ventures and Fatima Holdings USA. Existing strategic investors Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Equinor Ventures, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Rio Tinto continued their participation, as did previous financial investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Capricorn Partners, Prelude Ventures, and S2G Ventures.

EH2 has raised over $600 million since its founding in 2020. In a separate release, Fortescue said it had signed a framework procurement agreement to supply 1 GW of EH2’s electrolyzer systems to Fortescue’s green hydrogen projects in the US and globally.

EH2’s electrolyzer systems produce green hydrogen from renewable electricity and water. Green hydrogen is needed for decarbonizing vital industrial processes such as fertilizer production, steelmaking, base chemicals and many others. Until now, switching from fossil-based sources to renewable green hydrogen has been too costly to be implemented at scale. EH2 is manufacturing and plans to deliver and commission 100 MW electrolyzer systems, each capable of producing nearly 50 tons of green hydrogen per day at transformational low cost to help its customers meet their decarbonization goals.

“We’re here to replace natural gas and coal with renewable green hydrogen. To address the global climate challenge, we need new technologies that help critical industries reduce their emissions. Electric Hydrogen’s 100MW electrolyzer systems do that”, said Raffi Garabedian, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of EH2. “Today’s hydrogen comes from natural gas and coal and accounts for around 2.5% of global carbon emissions. There has not been a viable solution to this problem because renewable green hydrogen has been too expensive to produce at scale. The Electric Hydrogen team is changing that and the opportunities for decarbonization go far beyond today’s applications”.

The company is currently installing manufacturing equipment in its 1.2 GW factory in Devens, Massachusetts. The factory will begin producing commercial electrolyzer systems in early 2024, with deliveries later in the year including the first customer-sited electrolyzer plant to be installed in Texas for New Fortress Energy. Electric Hydrogen has more than 5 gigawatts (GW) of its electrolysis systems reserved by customers and anticipates strong ongoing demand.

Fortescue, a global metals and green energy company, is both a lead investor and potential customer, having also signed a procurement agreement with EH2. “Fortescue is committed and focused on supporting the creation of green technology to help heavy industry decarbonize and producing green hydrogen at scale globally is integral to that”, said Mark Hutchinson, Fortescue Energy CEO. “Electric Hydrogen, just like Fortescue, is working at the speed and scale necessary to help deliver green-hydrogen projects around the world”.

“bp Ventures invests in game-changing and innovative technology across bp’s transition growth engines and in the energy the world needs today, said Gareth Burns, Vice President of bp Ventures. “Electric Hydrogen’s 100MW green hydrogen systems use advanced technology that could significantly reduce production costs. Investing in technologies that could help to advance green hydrogen production is crucial as we progress our global hydrogen portfolio and work towards our net zero ambition.”

“Scalable and cost competitive access to green hydrogen is key to the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel – for United and others that seek a transition to clean energy. Electric Hydrogen’s novel electrolyzers have the potential to greatly reduce the capital cost of hydrogen production and their electrolyzers can be powered by a variety of renewable power sources,” said United Airlines Ventures President, Michael Leskinen. “United’s need for sustainable aviation will require scaling the supply of green hydrogen, and we believe Electric Hydrogen’s technology could be game changing.”

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Bloom Energy anticipates increase in waste-to-energy contracting

New developers are emerging in the waste-to-energy space, including many in agriculture and wastewater treatment that are looking for greater energy security.

Bloom Energy, the San Jose-based manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells, anticipates a policy-driven increase in contracts from waste-to-energy developers this year and next year.

CEO KR Sridhar said during the company’s 3Q earnings call that between 200 MW and 300 MW of potential new waste-to-energy sales had come into the company’s pipeline, driven in part by passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

While he declined to state a number, Sridhar said the company expects some of those to begin contracts this year and next.

New developers are emerging in the waste-to-energy space, he noted, including many in agriculture and wastewater treatment that are looking for greater energy security.

Bloom recorded record third quarter revenue of $292.3 million in 2022, an increase of 41.1% compared to $207.2 in the third quarter of 2021.

During the call Shridhar highlighted the company’s relationship with Taylor Farms and the effort to install a microgrid capable of taking one of their California food processing facilities completely off the traditional energy grid.

Additionally, the company is working with Westinghouse Electric Company to pursue clean hydrogen production in the commercial nuclear power market. Shridhar declined to give specifics but said the companies are actively pursuing several opportunities.

Bloom will double production capacity, with a focus on its Fremont facility, year-over year by the end of 4Q and plans to again double capacity next year, CFO Greg Cameron said on the call. Investment in the Fremont facility through 2023 will be about USD 200m and the company could consider new manufacturing facilities after that.

Bloom Energy also recently inaugurated a high volume commercial electrolyzer line at the company’s plant in Newark, Delaware.

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Iberdrola and BP to collaborate on green hydrogen production

Iberdrola and BP today announced their plan to form a strategic collaboration aiming to help accelerate the energy transition.

Iberdrola and BP today announced their plan to form a strategic collaboration aiming to help accelerate the energy transition.

The companies intend to develop large scale green hydrogen production hubs in Spain, Portugal and the UK, as well as production of derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol, which could be exported to Northern Europe.

This collaboration will combine Iberdrola’s world-class track record in renewables development and its global customer base, with BP’s experience in gas processing, trading and its global customer portfolio, according to a press release.The companies aim to jointly develop advantaged hydrogen production hubs with total capacity of up to 600ktpa, integrated with new renewable power.

The green hydrogen project at bp’s Castellón refinery will be part of the agreement. The two companies, together with the Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía, have submitted the Castellón project to the Spanish government’s hydrogen value chain PERTE call.

Likewise, Iberdrola’s industrial hydrogen projects under development, as well as new projects, will be part of the agreement. Based on this collaboration in Spain, Portugal and the UK, Iberdrola and bp intend to explore potential future opportunities for green hydrogen production in other geographies.

Iberdrola and BP aim to finalize both joint venture agreements by end 2022, subject to regulatory approvals

The companies also intend to collaborate to significantly expand fast EV public charging infrastructure to support the adoption of electric vehicles.

Iberdrola and BP plan to form a joint venture that intends to invest up to €1 billion to roll-out a network of up to 11,000 rapid and ultra-fast EV public charge points across Spain and Portugal, significantly expanding access to charging for consumer and fleet customers thus accelerating electric mobility.

The plan includes installing and operating an initial 5,000 fast charge points by 2025, and up to a total of 11,000 by 2030, including Iberdrola’s existing fast charging hubs.

The companies are also looking at options to jointly serve EV customers in the UK.

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Houston ammonia and hydrogen terminal on the block

The owners of a recently developed Houston terminal with proximity to ammonia, hydrogen, and nitrogen pipelines are working with an advisor on a sale process.

The owners of Vopak Moda Houston, a Gulf Coast hydrogen and ammonia terminaling asset, have hired an investment bank to run a sale process, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Intrepid Investment Bankers has been retained to run the process, the sources said.

Vopak Moda and Intrepid did not respond to requests for comment.

Formed in 2016, Vopak Moda Houston is a 50/50 joint venture between Royal Vopak and Moda Midstream. Moda Midstream is a portfolio company of EnCap Flatrock Midstream, which did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2021 the JV commissioned its deepwater dock at the Port of Houston. It has constructed storage and terminal infrastructure for industrial gas product lines, with the stated intention of becoming a premier hydrogen and low-carbon ammonia terminaling hub in the Gulf Coast.

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Cutting the electricity out of electrolysis

Milwaukee-based start-up Advanced Ionics is seeking to commercialize an electrolyzer that cuts electricity needs for hydrogen production to as low as 30 kWh per kilogram.

Advanced Ionics is seeking to ramp manufacturing capacity and raise capital as it begins to commercialize an electrolyzer promising to reduce electricity needs, CEO Chad Mason said in an interview.

The Milwaukee-based company is working to demonstrate its low-cost electrolyzer technology through a partnership with the Repsol Foundation.

The technology will be tested locally, but could grow to include additional tests and, eventually, a commercial relationship with the Spain-based energy and petrochemical company.

Advanced Ionics is looking to move into a larger facility in Milwaukee to advance early-stage production of the electrolyzer, which uses steam from process and waste heat to reduce the amount of electricity required in electrolysis.

The company last year raised $4.2m in a seed round led by Clean Energy Ventures, with participation from SWAN Impact Network. It has also received financial support from Repsol and $500,000 from the DOE.

As it scales, Mason said, the company will also need to raise additional capital, but he declined further comment.

Going to market

The Repsol arrangement is part of the company’s early access program allowing potential end users to take a first look at the technology.

“Repsol is just the tip of the iceberg here,” Mason said. “We’re talking to some really amazing partners at some of the largest energy companies in the world. People who use hydrogen today and want to make it green immediately understand what we’re doing.”

Given the concentration of hydrogen use in petrochemicals and ammonia, Advanced Ionics is targeting these sectors for deployment of its electrolyzers to produce clean hydrogen, Mason added.

Mason noted that, as the traditional petrochemical industry dies off over time, it will be replaced by green materials and green fuels like sustainable aviation fuel and biofuels that require hydrogenation to be useable.

“You’ll see a bit of a replacement happening on the petrochemical side, towards a green chemical,” he said, adding that a third potential key market is green steel production using hydrogen.

Thermodynamically favored

The company’s Symbiotic electrolyzers use steam by tapping into excess heat from industrial settings, thereby lowering electricity needs for water splitting to 35 kWh per kg, with 30 kWh per kg possible. That compares to industry averages over 50 kWh per kg.

Advanced Ionics’ water vapor electrolyzer

“We set out to build an electrolyzer specifically that would operate at intermediate temperatures,” he said. “And that allows you to have the synergy with those processes, and the downstream effect is the most cost-effective hydrogen you can get.”

The resulting hydrogen could be available for less than $1 per kg – but, Mason notes, the underlying power price math assumes an abundance of cheap, clean power. The models are usually pricing in two cents per kWh, the availability of which, Mason added, is “extremely geographically dependent.”

“If you’re in Texas, you have a system with wind, solar, and some amount of clean energy grid back-up, it’s pretty attractive,” he said. “Or if you hook up to a hydroelectric facility in the Northwest or in the Quebec area.”

Mason added, “Electrolysis rides on the coattails of cheap, clean electricity. What we have under our control is to make sure we’re using as little electricity as possible.”

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Renewables developer exploring move into green hydrogen

North Carolina-based Strata Clean Energy is engaged with engineers and consultants in preparations for a potential move into the production of green hydrogen.

Strata Clean Energy, the North Carolina-based utility-scale renewables developer, is researching locations in the U.S. where it could potentially build a green hydrogen production plant, executives said in an interview.

“We’ve been doing some hydrogen work for the past few years,” said Tiago Sabino Dias, former CEO of Crossover Energy, which was acquired by Strata in a deal announced this week. That forward momentum on green hydrogen and other areas of the energy transition was part of the reason the deal with Strata was made, he said.

Sabino Dias is now the senior vice president of origination at Strata following the takeover.

“We’ve done a lot of work thinking about where the high-value locations are,” Strata’s Chief Development Officer Josh Rogol said in a separate interview.

Hydrogen is adjacent to Strata’s core competencies in energy storage, Rogol said. The company is confident it could supply the green kilowatt hours for hydrogen production and is researching offtake scenarios in transportation and industrial uses.

Strata has a 13 GW project pipeline of standalone and combined solar and storage, according to its website, with 4 GW under management.

The company’s IPP has about 1 GW with ambitions to grow, Rogol said. It’s go-forward pipeline comprises more than 100 projects across 26 states.

Strata is now engaged with several consultants and engineers to explore green hydrogen opportunities, Rogol said. The company is open to new advisory relationships across verticals.

“We think we are really well positioned to be both the energy supplier, as well as the molecule producer,” Rogol said. The capabilities and intellectual property acquired through Crossover put the firm six to 18 months ahead of other nascent developers.

Early-stage development in green hydrogen can be funded with Strata’s balance sheet, similar to Strata’s bilateral takeover of Crossover, Rogol said. Later stage development and EPC will require “an ecosystem of partners” potentially both financial and strategic, he added.

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