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NextEra leads Series B for hydrogen firm

Modern Hydrogen, previously known as Modern Electron, has completed an oversubscribed $32.8m Series B-2 funding round led by NextEra Energy.

Modern Hydrogen has completed an oversubscribed $32.8m Series B-2 funding round led by NextEra Energy, with strategic investors & partners Miura and National Grid Partners also participating, according to a news release.

Existing investors Gates Frontier, IRONGREY, Starlight Ventures, Valo Ventures and Metaplanet continued their participation and expanded their investments as part of the funding round.

Modern Hydrogen will leverage the investment to scale-up the capacity of its hydrogen production units. This will further accelerate decarbonization of gas networks and support distributed production of hydrogen, all without a reliance on new hydrogen pipelines or massive infrastructure upgrades. The capital will also be utilized to expand the company’s clean carbon material offerings and boost its global market presence via the partnership with Miura in Japan.

The company also announced the move away from its previous name, Modern Electron, to shape the new brand of Modern Hydrogen. This new identity reflects its commitment to innovation in the clean hydrogen economy. As Modern Hydrogen, the company will continue to provide the exceptional technology and products its customers have come to expect and will continue expanding offerings of clean energy and materials under the “Modern” umbrella.

The participation of NextEra Energy, Miura, and National Grid Partners in this funding round highlights their confidence in Modern Hydrogen’s vision and potential to clean up one of the largest sources of energy in human civilization today: Natural gas. These strategic investors bring a wealth of expertise in the energy, technology, and industrial equipment market, which will be invaluable as the company continues to scale and innovate.

“As a leading manufacturer of industrial boilers, our mission is to make it ‘actionable’ for our customers to decarbonize the heat. Among the various hydrogen production and transportation pathways, the clean hydrogen production at point of use from natural gas is unique, and bundled with our hydrogen-fired boiler, it will be a great solution to the customers who have limited access to clean hydrogen in the other pathways. Participating in the COP27 last year, I strongly felt the need for immediate climate action. Together with Modern Hydrogen, we will work toward hydrogen deployment as early as possible,” said Daisuke Miyauchi, president & CEO MIURA Co., Ltd.

“National Grid is mobilizing to help our customers reach net zero, and hydrogen plus renewable natural gas are key pillars of our strategy,” said Lisa Lambert, chief technology & innovation officer of National Grid and founder & president of National Grid Partners. “Modern’s technology could help our gas customers adopt clean hydrogen sooner by making low-CO2 hydrogen affordable onsite. Moreover, by pairing Modern’s pyrolysis technology with renewable natural gas in National Grid’s network, we have the potential to achieve negative emissions without the high cost of CO2 capture.”

“NextEra Energy Resources sees Modern Hydrogen’s potential to support the emerging hydrogen economy using technology that can provide clean hydrogen on-site, without liquefaction, transport or storage,” said Elena Bueno-Gonzalez, vice president, Clean Energy Solutions, NextEra Energy Resources. “In addition to our industry-leading wind, solar and battery energy storage portfolio, NextEra Energy Resources offers comprehensive decarbonization solutions, such as renewable natural gas and green mobility. NextEra Energy Resources believes that Modern Hydrogen will enable yet another exciting clean, cost-effective option for commercial and industrial customers.”

“There are 3 million miles of natural gas pipelines in the USA alone. And the delivered price of natural gas is much cheaper than that of delivered electricity, typically by a factor of 3 to 5 times,” explained Tony Pan, co-founder and CEO of Modern Hydrogen. “By stripping out the offending carbon atom from gas at the end of the pipe, before it has a chance to become CO2, Modern’s technology can deliver decarbonized gas – aka clean hydrogen – on location. Thus, Modern can deliver this hydrogen to the end consumer, without the decades and billions of dollars it would take to build out hydrogen infrastructure. Sidestepping the need for new pipes and transmission permits will be invaluable in achieving speed & scale in realizing the clean hydrogen economy.”

“Negative emissions technologies are required to meet humanity’s climate goals,” notes Modern Hydrogen Co-founder and CTO Max Mankin. “We can generate net negative emissions by applying our pyrolysis technology on carbon-neutral gases such as biogas. The solid carbon we pull out from the gas is directly weighed, so every ton of solid carbon we put into products and building materials are verifiable emissions captured, avoided, and utilized.”

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Blue Biofuels receives DOE grant

The DOE grant will enable Blue Biofuels to advance its efforts to scale and optimize its patented cellulose-to-sugar process.

Blue Biofuels, Inc. has received a Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 grant.

The grant, valued at $206,500, will further propel Blue Biofuels’ mission to revolutionize the biofuels sector and create sustainable transportation and aviation fuel.

The DOE SBIR Phase 1 grant will enable Blue Biofuels to advance its efforts to scale and optimize its patented cellulose-to-sugar (CTS) process. This funding will support the company’s team of scientists and engineers as they continue to refine cutting-edge fuel technology aimed at reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.

“We are honored to be awarded the DOE SBIR grant, which recognizes our commitment to developing clean and sustainable fuels,” CEO Benjamin Slager said in the release. “This grant not only validates our ongoing efforts but also provides us with the resources needed to accelerate our research and move closer to commercialization.”

With this grant, Blue Biofuels aims to successfully complete its Phase 1 scaling objectives, paving the way for future opportunities to secure larger-scale grants. The Company is poised to leverage the findings and data generated from this project to pursue subsequent DOE SBIR Phase 2 & 3 grants, potentially worth millions of dollars. Blue Biofuels remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing the biofuels industry and ushering in a cleaner and greener energy landscape.

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Air Liquide Finance announces cash tender offers for two series of USD Notes

The tender offers to purchase for cash up to $350m of its outstanding 2.500% notes due 2026 and $100m of its outstanding 3.500% notes will enable the company to optimize its funding structure.

Air Liquide Finance has announced offers to purchase for cash up to $350m of its outstanding 2.500% notes due 2026 and $100m of its outstanding 3.500% notes due 2046, according to a press release.

“The Offeror intends, but is not obligated, to increase either or both of the applicable Maximum Tender Amounts to the extent necessary to allow for a combined acceptance of Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn at or prior to the Early Tender Time up to an aggregate maximum principal amount for both series of up to [$500m],” the release states.

Air Liquide has retained BofA Securities Europe SA, Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Natixis Securities Americas to act as the dealer managers for the tender offers, and Global Bondholder Services Corporation to act as the information and tender agent.

The Tender Offers will expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on April 11, 2023.

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UK hydrogen firm raises £36m

The funding round was led by GM Ventures, and co-led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with participation from SWEN CP and Siemens Energy Ventures.

UK green hydrogen company GeoPura has received a £36m investment from global industry leaders, with the round led by GM Ventures, the investment arm of General Motors, and co-led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with participation from SWEN CP and Siemens Energy Ventures to scale its green hydrogen business.

The investors will also act as strategic partners for GeoPura as it scales its hydrogen power generation technology.

GeoPura currently provides hydrogen power to Balfour Beatty, HS2, National Grid and the BBC among other sustainability-driven customers, replacing traditional diesel generators with its Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) technology.

The HPUs are used for temporary, supplementary, off grid and backup power. GeoPura plans to grow the use of hydrogen into other hard-to-decarbonize areas of our energy system, such as EV charging and supplementary grid power, as economies continue to electrify.

With hubs in Nottingham and Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, the £36m investment will enable GeoPura to mass manufacture HPUs alongside partner Siemens Energy, increase the production of green hydrogen to fuel the units and drive green skills in the North East and throughout the UK, while supporting the global deployment of the technology.

GeoPura plans to deploy a fleet of over 3,600 HPUs by 2033, providing clean, low-cost reliable power, and displacing more than six million tonnes of CO2 emissions through their operation over their life.

In response to customer demand, the company aims to bring a number of new products to market, addressing smaller and larger power requirements. The company will work closely with its new strategic partners to advance the technology needed to enable the mass electrification that underpins decarbonisation.

Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura, said: “Green hydrogen is too often seen as a technology that will happen in the future, but GeoPura and our partners are delivering a commercially viable technology, today. The world can’t afford to wait a decade for green fuels to scale – we must act now.

“This investment allows us to build on our installed base of HPUs and hydrogen production infrastructure to stimulate the green hydrogen economy, and then expand the use of clean fuels into other hard-to-decarbonise areas of our energy system.

“We have secured the right mix of investors, forming strategic partnerships that not only provide the funds to enable us to scale rapidly, but also the skills and resources to accelerate the transition to zero emission fuels. With the support of our investors we can help turn the market on its head and build a green hydrogen economy this decade, not next.”

Established to decarbonise global economies using zero-emission fuels, GeoPura has grown rapidly since delivering its first Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) in collaboration with Siemens Energy in 2019. GeoPura’s HPU technology and end-to-end service is a multi-purpose replacement for diesel power worldwide and is available today. GeoPura generates hydrogen and transports the fuel to customers for use in its HPUs – customers simply rent the units and pay for the fuel used.

The company is initially targeting sectors with the highest diesel use today, such as construction, infrastructure, outdoor events, and back-up power. It is also providing a solution to power commercial EV charging, where the local electricity network isn’t capable. The only by-product is pure water and heat.

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Canadian renewables major eyeing hydrogen production at pumped hydro facility

Canadian power generation giant TransAlta could co-locate hydrogen production with select wind and hydroelectric facilities.

TransAlta, the Canadian power generator and wholesale marketing company, is contemplating a buildout of hydrogen production capabilities at its 320 MW Tent Mountain pumped hydro storage project in Alberta, Executive Vice President of Alberta Business Blain van Melle said in an interview.

“Our view on hydrogen is that it’s a technology that’s an option, somewhat further out in the future, particularly when it comes to power generation,” van Melle said. “If we can offer our customers maybe a power and hydrogen solution, and they’re using the hydrogen in another process, that would be something we would look at.”

In early 2022 TransAlta made a CAD 2m equity investment in Ekona Power, a methane pyrolysis company based in Vancouver. The company also committed USD $25m over four years to EIP’s Deep Decarbonization Frontier Fund 1.

That latter investment is a way to continue to learn about hydrogen and have exposure to emerging technologies, van Melle said.

The recent 50% stake acquisition in the Tent Mountain project includes the intellectual property associated with a 100 MW offsite green hydrogen electrolyzer and a 100 MW offsite wind development project.

Having hydrogen production co-located with wind and pumped hydro storage could make sense for the company in a few years, van Melle said. FID on Tent Mountain could be reached sometime in 2025 and will require the company to secure a PPA offtake and determine capital cost. Development work will take three to four years and earliest construction could begin in 2026.

The company has not had discussions with potential offtakers, van Melle said, adding that development on the pumped hydro facility needs to mature before a hydrogen component advances.

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EverWind in capital raise for Nova Scotia wind-to-hydrogen complex

EverWind Fuels is soliciting investor bids for a $1bn initial phase of its Point Tupper renewables and hydrogen/ammonia production facility in Atlantic Canada.

EverWind Fuels, the Canada-based renewable fuels developer, is preparing to launch a process to raise an estimated $800m in debt for its Point Tupper ammonia production and export facility near Halifax, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Citi and CIBC are mandated on the raise.

The company is seeking capital from a variety of investors, one of the sources said. The raise will likely conclude around the middle of the year with Citi stepping up for part of the debt quantum.

EverWind is also in talks with Canadian Infrastructure Bank, one of the sources said.

EverWind, Citi, CIBC and CIB did not respond to requests for comment.

Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change recently approved the Point Tupper Green Hydrogen/Ammonia Project – Phase 1. Construction should begin this year on phase 1 of the project, consisting of a 300 MW electrolysis plant along with a 600 tonnes-per-day ammonia production facility. The project also involves construction of a liquid ammonia pipeline to a jetty for international shipping and a 230 kW substation that will bring in electricity.

Government support for the project is leading to offtake agreements needed to build out a hydrogen supply chain at scale, a third source said. The project is nearing a $200m offtake agreement for green hydrogen with a large global manufacturer, this source added.

The German groups E.ON and Uniper said in August that they aim to buy up to 500,000 tonnes per year of ammonia each from EverWind, starting in 2025, when the project is set to begin production.

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Hydra Energy raising equity and debt capital for hydrogen refueling infrastructure

The hydrogen-as-a-service provider for commercial trucking fleets is pursuing an equity raise that will unlock a debt facility for scaling up hydrogen refueling infrastructure in Western Canada.

Hydra Energy, a hydrogen-as-a-service provider for commercial trucking fleets, is in the midst of a CAD 14m equity capital raise.

The Vancouver-based company is pursuing the equity raise in support of its Prince George hydrogen fueling station, which is set to be operational in 2024 and would be the largest in the world, Hydra CEO Jessica Verhagan.

The equity portion of the financing is needed to unlock an additional CAD 150m debt facility to complete initial scale-up of the company’s planned hydrogen corridor along Highway 16 in Western Canada, Verhagan added.

Verhagan said the company is not working with a financial advisor on the capital raise but could issue RFPs for advisory services in the future. She declined to name the provider of the proposed debt facility, apart from clarifying that it was not government-sponsored.

“To date, Hydra has been signing up commercial fleets and building out its initial hydrogen refuelling infrastructure throughout Western Canada, but the company is about to announce expansion throughout the rest of the country via licensing to a national fossil fuel distributor looking to extend its low-carbon alternative fuel offerings,” the executive said via email.

Hydra’s target market to date has been the roughly 5 million Class 8 trucks within North America, Verhagan said, with the company aiming to “conservatively” capture 1% of that market by 2030 through commercial discussions already underway. Hydra is also exploring expansion into the UK as well as Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.

“Hydra’s initial focus has been on proving out its Hydrogen-as-a-ServiceTM (HaaSTM) template which includes the company providing its proprietary hydrogen-diesel, co-combustion conversion kits to commercial fleets at zero cost (in exchange for long-term hydrogen fuel contracts at diesel equivalent prices) as well as an initial hydrogen refuelling station to service 65 Hydra- converted trucks in Prince George, B.C.,” she said.

Verhagan said the company will announce its first electrolysis partner for the Prince George hydrogen refueling station early next year. The station will be able to refuel – as quickly as diesel – up to 24 Hydra-converted trucks each hour across four bays. The station will provide hydrogen from two onsite, 5 MW electrolyzers powered with electricity from BC Hydro.

“The adoption of Hydra’s technology really comes down to availability of low carbon hydrogen – showing fleets it’s possible to go green cost-effectively – and government support to utilize hydrogen to reduce trucking emissions right now,” Verhagan said.

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