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Nevada plant on track for SAF production this year

The facility, which changed hands last year, is nearly through the conversion of a renewable diesel plant to sustainable aviation fuel production.

New Rise Renewables, a renewable energy company, today announced the inauguration its new 3200 barrel-per-day renewable sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility located at the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Complex in Storey County, Nevada.

The facility is nearly through the conversion of its existing renewable diesel plant as part of a groundbreaking effort to revolutionize the aviation industry by producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It is scheduled to commence SAF production in the summer of 2024, according to a news release.

Camber Energy, a NYSE-traded energy company, last year reached a deal to acquire 100% of the interests in New Rise Renewables.

The plant was purchased for $499m, representing a purchase price of $750m less $251m of existing company liabilities, according to a securities filing. The seller was RESC Renewables Holdings, a predecessor company to Ryze Renewables, which developed the project.

The parties had reached a framework for the deal in late 2021, subject to purchase price adjustments and other closing conditions.

Reno-based Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) facilitated $112.6m in government-guaranteed credit for the development of New Rise Renewables Reno. Eighty percent of the GCL-arranged financing for New Rise Renewables Reno is guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) via its 9003 Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biodiesel Production Manufacturing Assistance Program. The financing structure includes participation by GCL parent Greater Nevada Credit Union, other credit unions, insurance companies and secondary market groups.

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Evercore managing director moves to NextEra

A well-known Evercore managing director has made a career move into hydrogen, taking an executive director position at NextEra.

Sean Morgan, a former public equity market analyst at Evercore who made television appearances on CNBC, has taken a new position within the hydrogen business at NextEra Energy Resources.

Morgan, who as an analyst covered the LNG and clean energy markets, took a role as executive director of hydrogen market analytics at NextEra in August, according to his LinkedIn profile. He ended at Evercore as a managing director.

Prior to joining Evercore, Morgan worked as a portfolio manager at Blue Shores Capital, and also worked on the leveraged credit team at SocGen.

NextEra is evaluating a potential $20bn pipeline of hydrogen projects.

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GSE Solutions to build hydrogen plant model for NuScale’s SMR plant simulator

The project will determine the technical and economic feasibility of connecting a hydrogen production facility to a NuScale small modular reactor and evaluate operating parameters.

GSE Solutions, a provider of advanced engineering and workforce solutions that supports the future of clean-energy production and decarbonization initiatives of the power industry, announced today that it will build a hydrogen plant model for NuScale Power’s VOYGR small modular reactor (SMR) plant simulator.

GSE will provide the models, integration, and testing support to NuScale using its JPro Dynamic Simulation Software.

Portland, Oregon-based NuScale along with Shell Global Solutions (Shell) will develop and assess a concept for an economically optimized Integrated Energy System (IES) for hydrogen production using electricity and process heat from the SMR power plant.

GSE strives to create the most accurate, highest-level of advanced modeling technologies on the market, providing unparalleled accuracy and detail, enabling simulators to be used to test engineering changes, control system design and strategies, and even perform human factors engineering prior to plant commissioning, according to the news release.

GSE is one of just a handful of companies tapped to support NuScale in developing and assessing an economically optimized Integrated Energy System (IES) for hydrogen production using electricity and process heat from the VOYGR SMR. The existing NuScale control room simulator will be modified to evaluate the dynamics of the IES and will include GSE’s models for hydrogen production. The project will determine the technical and economic feasibility of connecting a hydrogen production facility to a NuScale SMR and evaluate operating parameters.

GSE appreciates their long-standing, 10+ year relationship with NuScale that has resulted in the delivery of their four Energy Exploration Centers, which employ GSE Solutions’ state-of-the-art simulation technology. The companies also worked together to demonstrate NuScale’s new control room operating and staffing philosophy to regulators and customers using a GSE simulator. The Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell project will again showcase new concepts for use in small modular reactor power plants.

“We are proud to support NuScale in conducting this innovative research,” said Kyle Loudermilk, president and chief executive officer of GSE Solutions. “Our modeling of SMR technology and nuclear power systems help facilitate hydrogen production and demonstrates the potential to balance and stabilize power grids that will be driven by renewable energy sources in the future.”

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Drax Group reaches carbon removal deal for US projects

The deal, which will occur over a five-year period starting in 2030, is linked to Drax’s planned deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture facilities in the US.

Carbon removals and renewable energy company Drax Group today announced a new carbon removals deal with Karbon-X, a leading environmental company.

Karbon-X will purchase carbon dioxide removals (CDR) credits from Drax representing 25,000 metric tons of permanently stored carbon at $350 per tonne under the terms of the agreement.

The deal, which will occur over a five-year period starting in 2030, is linked to Drax’s planned deployment of carbon negative BECCS in the United States, according to a news release.

“We’re excited to work with organizations like Karbon-X that understand the importance of investing in high-value carbon removals today,” said Laurie Fitzmaurice, President, Carbon Removals at Drax. “The CDR market, which is already maturing at a rapid pace, is expected to experience a supply crunch within the next decade as companies and countries approach their deadlines for carbon reduction targets.”

The agreement with Karbon-X is the latest in a string of previously announced carbon removals memorandums of understanding that have included Respira and C-Zero. Drax also launched a new independent business unit earlier this year that is focused on becoming the global leader in large-scale carbon removals. This business unit will oversee the development and construction of Drax’s new-build BECCS plants in the US and internationally, and it will work with a coalition of strategic partners to focus on an ambitious goal of removing at least 6 Mt of CO2 per year from the atmosphere.

BECCS is a carbon removal technology that uses sustainably sourced biomass to generate renewable energy while permanently sequestering the carbon underground. Measuring the impact of these high-quality carbon removals is more straightforward when compared with other solutions like nature-based removals, resulting in high demand, according to the company.

“This agreement with Karbon-X represents another major step forward in delivering BECCS by Drax in the United States to help meet this growing demand to decarbonize our planet,” said Fitzmaurice.

Karbon-X intends to sell the credits it purchases from Drax on the voluntary carbon market, enabling individuals and organizations to achieve their own emissions reduction targets. It follows a stringent set of guidelines to ensure it selects only high-quality projects and providers, like BECCS by Drax.

As companies, industries, and countries increasingly look to engineered carbon removals to ensure they can meet their climate commitments, CDRs from carbon negative BECCS are becoming an integral piece of this market. Through BECCS, carbon removals are quantifiable and auditable, resulting in a higher quality credit. This separates BECCS-derived CDRs from carbon offsets, allowing organizations to have greater trust in the impact of their investments, according to the release.

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Hydrogen technology firm hires advisor for capital raise

A firm with a technology to produce green hydrogen from sunlight without electrolysis is prepping a capital raise.

BoMax Hydrogen, a Florida-based hydrogen technology firm, is preparing to launch a capital raise later this month, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Boutique advisory firm Taylor DeJongh has been retained to run the process, the sources said. Teasers will likely go out in two weeks.

BoMax is seeking to raise around $15m in a Series A round, the sources added.

The company touts e a novel technology making hydrogen from visible light without the need for solar electrolysis, according to a pre-teaser marketing document seen by ReSource. An alpha prototype has been awarded by the US Department of Energy.

The technology, which does not require rare earth minerals, produces hydrogen at point of need and has been reviewed by scientists at Utah State University.

To date the company has raised about $5m, one of the sources said. That came mostly from friends and family and one Japanese investor.

Funds from the Series A will be used to make a beta prototype, scale operations at the company’s labs in Orlando and prepare for commercial production.

BoMax and Taylor DeJonghe did not respond to requests for comment.

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Arizona RNG firm seeking equity capital

A renewable natural gas developer with sites proposed in southern California and Arizona is seeking additional equity investors.

True North Renewable Energy Company, a Phoenix-based waste-to-energy developer, is undergoing a Series B equity raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Whitehall & Company is advising, the sources said.

True North develops, builds, and operates organics-to-energy facilities, including large, regional, high solids anaerobic digestion infrastructure, according to its website.

The firm is primarily active in southern California and Arizona. Sites have been announced in Imperial County, Kern County and Mojave (all in California) as well as Yuma County, Arizona. Collectively, these could produce up to 3m mmbtu per annum, using up to 700,000 tons of organic compost from regional farms.

The company is a holding of True North Venture Partners, of Phoenix and Chicago.

TNRE and Whitehall did not respond to requests for comment.

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US hydrogen developer auditioning bankers

A US-based clean fuels developer has large capital needs for unannounced green hydrogen projects in California and Illinois, as well as an ammonia facility in Texas.

A US-based clean fuels developer has large capital needs for unannounced green hydrogen projects in California and Illinois, as well as an ammonia facility in Texas.

Avina Clean Hydrogen has yet to formally engage an investment banker to raise the equity and debt needed for a trio of projects under development in the US, CEO Vishal Shah said in an interview.

The company, which recently announced the formation of a strategic advisory board composed of executives from companies like Cummins, bp and Rolls Royce, will need $600m or more of debt and between $200m and $300m of equity, as previously reported by ReSource. Capital raising talks are focused on the operating company and project level.

Capital raises for Avina’s 700,000 mtpa green ammonia project in the Texas Gulf Coast and a larger operating company raise will launch next month, Shah said.

“The amounts that we are going to need to raise have gone up,” Shah said. “We are working with a number of banks but we’ve not engaged anyone formally.”

Buildout of the Texas project has been accelerated. The company recently announced an agreement with KBR for that project, which is scheduled to come online next year.

Project level capital has been raised for Texas and a green hydrogen project in Southern California, Shah said. An additional green hydrogen project in Illinois is in development as well.

Finding the renewable power

Renewable power needs for these facilities are big, but Shah said the company doesn’t see a shortage of power. Instead, developers are facing interconnection issues and subsequent cost increases.

Hydrogen developers in California are in many cases offering higher prices for renewable energy than other buyers, Shah said. The issue is that credit-worthy investment counterparties are often seen as more attractive offtakers regardless of the higher price offers from aspiring hydrogen producers.

“I would say California is different,” Shah said. “The offtake market is a challenge.”

There are renewables developers with a genuine interest in hydrogen looking at the sector as a long-term play, Shah said. But for some without a strategic interest in hydrogen, a community choice aggregator offering a 15-year offtake is more certain than a hydrogen developer offering a 10-year offtake; higher price can be seen as a trade-off.

“That’s the nature of the beast, right now.”

Regulatory uncertainty

Investors looking into the space are hesitating to deploy capital in some cases because of uncertainty around IRA clarifications, particularly with regards to the PTC qualifications, Vishal said.

“A lot of the customers, lenders, everybody’s waiting to make decisions,” Vishal said. Offtakers also have hesitations. “Nobody wants to sign long-term contracts in an environment where pricing is not clear.”

Shah said investors should look for offtake when investing in projects. Avina has two of three contracts signed for each of its projects.

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