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Quantron US, FirstElement in hydrogen fueling station arrangement

Quantron fleet customers will have access to hydrogen fuel at distribution stations across FirstElement's network in California.

Quantron US and FirstElement Fuel today announced that Quantron will be one of the first to take advantage of FirstElement’s network of hydrogen stations designed for hydrogen fuel-cell electric trucks.

The commitment between the two companies assures that Quantron customers have access to hydrogen refueling through the FirstElement station network. The announcement expands Quantron-as-a-Service, a 360-degree per-mile service that gives fleet owners access to everything required to transition to hydrogen.

The arrangement is structured to ensure reliable access to hydrogen fuel at distribution stations across its network in California. FirstElement Fuel operates the largest network of hydrogen refueling stations in the world, which was partially funded by California Energy Commission grants and during March 2023 performed over 60,000 fills and over sold over 162,000 kilograms of hydrogen. The company is now developing a network of “high flow” hydrogen stations capable of filling heavy duty, medium duty, and light duty class vehicles, with 12 stations across California as phase 1 of its development plan. The first of FirstElement Fuel’s “high flow” stations is set to open later this year near the Port of Oakland as part of a project titled NorCAL ZERO, which was jointly funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and is being managed by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE).

“Quantron is about making it easy for fleets to transition to carbon-free mobility,” said Rick Haas, Quantron US president and CEO. “By working with FirstElement, we are able to overcome the modern infrastructure challenge that limits the potential of other alternative energy sources – access to a reliable refueling network. FirstElement’s hydrogen network will allow drivers to seamlessly refuel and get back on the road, just like they would with diesel today, only now they’ll go further with zero-emission fuel.”

“We’re very grateful to the Quantron team for being the first to step up with a commitment – this will help us build out our truck station network more quickly,” said Joel Ewanick, CEO of FirstElement Fuel. “Hydrogen fueling needs to be reliable and uncomplicated, and our network will provide that convenience for Quantron’s customers so that they can offer this experience to many more operators. Fuel cells will play a huge role in the Zero Emission Truck future, and we are excited to be working with Quantron as the first of what we hope are many who will help us get our network of stations built across North America.”

Quantron US has been focused on building its Class 8 hydrogen fuel-cell trucks since it was founded late last year. Haas started as a team of one from his home/business in suburban Detroit, but efforts quickly ramped up when the company announced an agreement for an order of up to 500 Class 8 trucks with hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrains.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology unlocks significantly more range, at a much lower weight, than other clean-energy technology such as battery vehicles. When complete, Quantron expects its trucks to offer a range of about 750 – 850 miles. They are expected to only require 10-15 minutes for refueling to 100% capacity, which is comparable to current diesel trucks on the road today and significantly quicker than electric vehicles.

Quantron US is backed by a German company with 140 years of mobility experience. In Europe, Quantron AG currently supplies many customers – including IKEA – with battery and hydrogen-electric commercial vehicles. It offers a 360-degree product and solution ecosystem around zero-emission mobility with the groundbreaking Quantron-as-a-Service product.

Quantron’s work with FirstElement Fuel helps advance development of the U.S. version of Quantron-as-a-Service. The service is an integrated solution for fleet owners to transition. It provides everything required to make carbon-free hydrogen fleets no more costly than today’s diesel fleets: FCEV trucks, hydrogen fuel, designated fueling stations, maintenance and repairs, and insurance. By pairing best-in-class systems in the vehicle with its 360-degree service, Quantron makes it simple for fleets to begin the transition to carbon-free mobility.

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Energy Vault appoints CFO

Energy Vault has appointed Michael Beer as chief financial officer.

Energy Vault Holdings, Inc., a provider of sustainable grid-scale energy storage solutions, announced today the appointment of Michael Beer as Chief Financial Officer.

Beer will replace Jan Kees van Gaalen, who has served in the role since November 2022 and plans to retire. The appointment is effective April 15, 2024, the company said in a news release.

Energy Vault offers proprietary gravity-based storage, battery storage, and green hydrogen energy storage technologies.

Prior to Energy Vault, Beer served as Chief Financial Officer for FreeWire Technologies, Inc. (FreeWire), an industry leader in ultra-fast EV charging, battery storage and energy management solutions, since 2021. Prior to FreeWire, he served as Head of Financial Strategy & Investor Relations at Luminar Technologies, Inc (Nasdaq: LAZR), culminating in the company’s public listing.

Before Luminar, Beer spent seven years at Citigroup Inc., serving as a Senior Research Analyst in Hong Kong and Singapore, covering the transportation, logistics and infrastructure space across Asia. Previously, he covered the North American transportation sector at Bear Stearns and Wolfe Research in New York. Beer also currently serves on the Board of Directors at UK-based venture builder, Cambridge Future Tech Ltd. (CFT) and is a Partner at Vest Coast Capital.

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JERA Americas appoints chief commercial officer

JERA Americas has appointed James Tinsley as CCO. He joins from Calpine.

ERA Americas, the Houston-based subsidiary of global energy leader JERA, has appointed James Tinsley as its new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), according to a news release.

Tinsley joins JERA Americas from his position as vice president, Natural Gas Supply and Trading for Calpine Energy Services.

In his new role, Tinsley will be responsible for all commercial functions for the Company including overseeing commercial development opportunities for existing assets and for future asset portfolios the company may acquire.

“We are glad to have James join us at a critical point in JERA Americas’ growth trajectory. Over the past two years we have scaled up the organization to where we now have a solidly performing core asset portfolio and supporting corporate infrastructure,” said Steven Winn, JERA Americas chief executive officer. “James will spearhead the next phase of growth—expanding our commercial organization’s capabilities in order to optimize our current portfolio and the new assets we intend to build or acquire.”

During his seven years with Calpine, Tinsley led a natural gas supply and trading team of more than 20 people, responsible for natural gas trading, scheduling, and supply for the largest fleet of natural gas power facilities in the United States. He also grew the company’s natural gas commercial activities through the acquisition of new transportation and storage assets in addition to negotiating LNG imports.

Tinsley’s tenure at Calpine built on his leadership roles in the Natural Gas Trading and Supply businesses of Hess Energy Marketing (later acquired by Direct Energy) and helped build the largest commercial/industrial natural gas marketer in the country. He also oversaw development and construction activities of two power projects. Tinsley started his career in natural gas and electricity with Pace Global Energy where he helped large industrial companies manage commodity risk, negotiate contracts and lower energy costs.

“JERA Americas is catalyzing the clean energy transition—bringing clean energy projects such as wind and solar in Texas, hydrogen blending to reduce CO2 emissions at natural gas plants and looking to repurpose existing infrastructure into clean energy centers that will maintain a reliable supply of energy as well as facilitating the integration of new offshore wind farms and battery storage in the northeast,” said Tinsley. “I am looking forward to joining the Company and helping to accelerate the rollout of these technologies.”

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SLB acquires majority ownership in carbon capture firm

SLB will pay $380m to purchase 80% of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS (ACCH), which holds the business of ACC, and will contribute the SLB carbon capture business to the combined entity.

NYSE-listed SLB has agreed to combine its carbon capture business with Aker Carbon Capture (ACC) to support accelerated industrial decarbonization at scale.

The combination will leverage ACC’s commercial carbon capture product offering and SLB’s new technology developments and industrialization capability, according to a news release. It will create a vehicle for accelerating the introduction of disruptive early-stage technology into the global market on a commercial, proven platform. Following the transaction, SLB will own 80% of the combined business and ACC will own 20%.

SLB will pay NOK 4.12 billion ($380m) to purchase 80% of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS (ACCH), which holds the business of ACC, and will contribute the SLB carbon capture business to the combined entity. SLB may also make additional payments of up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years based on the performance of the business.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, 2024.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” said Olivier Le Peuch, chief executive officer, SLB. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project. We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors.”

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California renewables developer taps advisor for capital raise

Utility-scale solar and storage developer RAI Energy has tapped an advisor for a capital raise. The company is evaluating co-development conversion for green ammonia production at projects in Arizona and California.

RAI Energy, the utility-scale solar and storage developer, has hired an advisor as it pursues a capital raise.

The company is working with Keybanc Capital Markets in a process to raise up to $25m, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

In an interview, RAI Energy CEO and owner Mohammed S. Alrai said the company “is excited about having [Keybanc] act as our financial advisors on this fundraising round.” He noted that RAI is first a solar-plus-storage developer and is approaching investors as such.

However, RAI is evaluating co-development conversion for green ammonia production at two of its project sites in Arizona and California, he said.

“Hydrogen is a natural next step,” Alrai said of his company, adding that the end-product would be green ammonia for use in fertilizer production and industrial sectors. Pure hydrogen could also be kept for use in transportation.

A variety of partnerships would be required to develop hydrogen at RAI’s solar sites, Alrai said. The company could need advisory services to structure those partnerships.

RAI is working with engineers on the hydrogen question now and is open to additional technology and finance advisory relationships, he said. The company is also evaluating several electrolyzer manufacturers.

“It’s an open book for us right now,” Alrai said of hydrogen production. “We’re always open to talking to people who can help us.”

For hydrogen project development, RAI would seek project level debt and equity similar to its solar developments, Alrai said. Early-stage project sites in Colorado and New Mexico could also be candidates for hydrogen co-development.

Keybanc delined to comment for this story.

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Hydrogen firm launches equity raise

A US hydrogen infrastructure and project development outfit has mandated a banker to conduct a raise for equity and project capital.

Lifte H2, the Boston-based hydrogen infrastructure and project developer, has mandated a banker to conduct a Series A capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners is running the process, which launched recently, the sources said. Lifte H2 is seeking equity in the topco and development capital for its first project.

Talks with strategic and financial investors are being conducted now.

Lifte H2, which also has offices in Berlin, is led by Co-founder and CEO Matthew Blieske, who served as global hydrogen product manager for Shell before starting Lifte H2 in 2021. The founding team also includes Jeremy Manaus, Angela Akroyd, Richard Zhang, Paul Karzel, and Richard Wiens, all of whom previously worked at Shell.

In January, the company launched two hydrogen transport and dispensing products, the MACH₂ Mobile Refueler, which is a combination dispenser and high-capacity trailer; and the MACH2 High-Capacity Hydrogen Trailer, which has a capacity of 1,330 kg at approximately 550 bar and, according to the company, enables the lowest cost per kilogram for over-the-road transport.

The company signed an MOU last year with Swiss compressor manufacturer Burckhardt Compression to develop a joint offering of hydrogen solutions.

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Exclusive: Green hydrogen developer planning capital raises for distributed portfolio

A developer of US green hydrogen projects will need to access the project equity, debt and tax equity markets in the near term for a pipeline of distributed assets nationwide.

NovoHydrogen, the Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer, will be in the market for project financing for a portfolio of distributed green hydrogen projects in 2024, CEO Matt McMonagle said.

The company, which recently agreed to a $20m capital raise with Modern Energy, is aiming to attract additional private equity and infrastructure investors for the projects it is developing, the executive said.

“The opportunity is really there for attractive risk-adjusted returns at the project level based on how we’re structuring these projects with long-term contracted revenue,” he said.

The company plans to bring its first projects online in late 2024 or 2025.

“We don’t have the project financing set at the point that we can announce, but that’s something myself and my team have done in our careers,” McMonagle said, adding that he’s focused on bankability since founding the company. “We wanted to be as easy for the lenders to underwrite as possible.”

No financial advisors have been attached to the project financings, McMonagle said. A recently announced Series A, first reported by ReSource in February, gave the company exposure to investors that want to participate in project financings, he said.

“We’ll really be ramping that process up, likely after the new year,” McMonagle added, declining to say how much the company would need to raise in 2024.

NovoHydrogen doesn’t have a timeline on a Series B, he said.

Distributed pipeline

The company looks to do onsite projects adjacent to consumption, McMonagle said. The first projects that will go online will be 10 MW and smaller.

“Typically the permitting is straightforward in that we’re adding equipment to an already impacted industrial site,” McMonagle said. He declined to elaborate on where these projects are located or what customers they will serve.

The company also has off-site, or near-site projects, where production is decoupled from consumption. But the company still calls those distributed because they are being developed with a targeted customer in mind.

“We want to be as close as possible to that customer,” he said. Those off-site projects typically are larger and will begin coming online in 2026 and 2027.  

In Texas NovoHydrogen has two large-scale green hydrogen developments in production, co-located with greenfield renewables projects, McMonagle said. Partners, including EPC, are in place for those efforts. The company also has projects in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and along the west coast.

“Where can we add the most value and have the biggest competitive advantage?” McMonagle said of the company’s geographic strategy. “We have very specific go-to-markets in each of those regions which we feel play to our strengths.”

NovoHydrogen is a member of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub and is involved with the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2), though not in line to receive DOE funding through that hub.

Post-IRA, green hydrogen projects will look much like renewables deals from the equity, tax equity and debt perspectives, he said.

“We’re structuring and setting up our projects to take advantage of that existing infrastructure and knowledge base of how to finance deals,” he said. New options on transferability will enable additional financing options as well.

No flipping

NovoHydrogen does not plan to flip projects before COD, McMonagle said.

“We are planning to deploy hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in capex for these projects, and we’ll certainly need to partner with folks to deploy that capital,” McMonagle said. “But we will remain in deals with our customers because that relationship is really the fundamental value that we bring in our business.”

Hydrogen projects are different from renewables in that the customers need greater assurances of resiliency, security of supply and performance, than in a space like solar, he said.

Flipping projects before COD would be inconsistent with the trust required to attract offtakers.

“We don’t believe doing a flip reflects that level of importance and support and, frankly, incentive, behavioral incentive, that we have to show to our customers,” he said.

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