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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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8 Rivers appoints new CEO

8 Rivers Capital appoints Christopher Richardson to CEO position from law firm White & Case.

8 Rivers Capital, LLC, a decarbonization technology developer, has appointed Christopher F. Richardson as the firm’s new Chief Executive Officer, according to a news release.

He succeeds Dharmesh Patel, who has served for six months as interim CEO and previously served as Vice President and Financial Controller. Patel will ascend to the new position of Senior Vice President of Finance, effective immediately.

Richardson joins 8 Rivers with over 20 years of experience in energy and infrastructure transactions and projects and previously served as the head of the Americas energy and infrastructure projects section at the global law firm White & Case. He was based in the firm’s Houston office, which he established in 2018 as a founding partner.

In this role, Richardson led and managed a team of over 100 lawyers across eight offices in the Americas. Richardson’s expertise on developing, financing, and executing large-scale energy and infrastructure projects and related transactions spans the U.S. and more than 50 countries worldwide.

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Twelve plans groundbreaking for eSAF plant in Washington state

The first customers to receive E-Jet fuel from the plant will be companies and major airlines with which Twelve has existing partnerships, including Shopify, Alaska Airlines, and Microsoft.

Carbon transformation company Twelve and Washington Governor Jay Inslee have announced plans to scale the production of E-Jet® fuel, Twelve’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from CO2 and renewable energy, with a commercial-scale production facility in Moses Lake, WA.

The announcement was made during a press conference held at the Washington State exhibit at the 2023 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France.

A groundbreaking event for the facility will take place on July 11 with Gov. Inslee and other regional and local stakeholders who support sustainable aviation fuel development in Washington State. The first customers to receive E-Jet fuel from the plant will be companies and major airlines with which Twelve has existing partnerships, including Shopify, Alaska Airlines, and Microsoft.

Twelve’s E-Jet fuel is produced using the company’s carbon transformation technology, which uses only renewable energy and water to transform COinto critical chemicals and materials conventionally made from fossil fuels. With up to 90% lower lifecycle emissions compared to conventional fossil-based fuels, E-Jet fuel is a drop-in synthetic fuel that works seamlessly with existing aircraft and faces no constraints on feedstock, offering the best viable long-term solution to address emissions in the aviation industry. Transitioning to E-Jet fuel not only reduces reliance on fossil fuels, but also reduces particulate emissions from aviation and decreases impacts on neighboring communities.

“Washington maintains its widely-recognized leadership in the aviation and aerospace industries by creating a competitive business environment that fosters technology innovation, such as carbon transformation, that will help decarbonize the global aviation industry,” said Gov. Inslee. “We’re excited for Twelve to join the growing number of innovative companies that recognize everything that Washington has to offer.”

“Commercial-scale production of E-Jet fuel is a major milestone in our mission of creating a world run on air,” said Twelve co-founder and CEO Nicholas Flanders. “Washington is the perfect location for our facility, with its abundant renewable energy resources to power our carbon transformation process and longstanding global leadership in the aviation industry.”

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Heliogen rejects cash offer from Continuum Renewables

An offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Heliogen for cash consideration of $0.40 per share was rejected by the company’s board of directors.

Heliogen has rejected the unsolicited, non-binding proposal it received from Continuum Renewables to acquire all its outstanding shares of common stock for $0.40 per share, according to a news release.

“After careful consideration and consultation with legal and financial advisors, the Board concluded that the non-binding proposal substantially undervalues Heliogen,” the release states. “In fact, the proposal would result in an implied equity value for Heliogen common stockholders that is materially below Heliogen’s available liquidity.”

The company’s board concluded that the proposal is subject to material contingencies, including CRI obtaining financing, the release states

“The Board remains fully committed to Heliogen’s management team and its strategic priorities of increasing sales, installing commercial projects and improving the Company’s financial position,” Julie Kane, chair of the board, said in the release. “We strongly believe that our new leadership’s execution of this dynamic plan is the best way to drive sustainable long-term value creation for all stockholders and is a superior path compared to CRI’s opportunistic proposal.”

Late last year Heliogen received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that the average closing price of its common stock over the prior consecutive 30 trading-day period was below $1.00 per share, which is the minimum average share price for continued listing on the NYSE. The company’s stock was trading at $0.29 at close of business on Monday.

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Hydrogen liquefaction provider looking for growth equity

An emerging liquid hydrogen and liquefaction management company is seeking equity to support manufacturing expansion in Europe and the US.

Absolut Hydrogen, a French liquid hydrogen and liquefaction company based in Grenoble, is looking for equity to scale up production following operations of their demonstration project in France, CEO Jerome Lacapere said in an interview.

Absolut has a partnership with SAF firm ZeroAvia to develop refueling infrastructure for aircraft, and is primarily focused on serving the mobility sector.

A subsidiary of Groupe Absolut, the company offers a full LH2 product range with an entry small-scale hydrogen liquefaction system (< 50 kg/day), a 100 kg/day Turbo-Brayton based H2 liquefier and a 1T/day liquefier based on the same technology.The company's liquefaction demonstration plant in France should produce 100 kg per day, Lacapere said. After that Absolut will need new investment to scale production.Longer term the company has its sites on the US transport market, Lacapere said.“We need to grow in the United States,” Lacapere said. The company will need US-based advisory services and offices in the country to do that, he said.

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Exclusive: Geologic hydrogen startup raising Series A

A US geologic hydrogen startup that employs electric fracking with a pilot presence on the Arabian Peninsula is raising a $40m Series A and has identified a region in the midwestern US for its first de-risked project.

Eden GeoPower, a Boston-based geologic hydrogen technology provider, is engaged in raising a Series A and has a timeline on developing a project in Minnesota, CEO and co-founder Paris Smalls told ReSource.

The Series A target is $40m, with $10m being supplied by existing investors, Smalls said. This round, the company is looking for stronger financial investors to join its strategic backers.

The company has two subsidiaries wholly owned by the parent: one oil and gas-focused and one climate-focused. The Series A is topco equity at the parent level.

Eden was one of 16 US Department of Energy-selected projects to receive funding to explore geologic hydrogen; the majority of the others are academic lab projects. Eden has raised some $13m in equity and $12m in grant funding to date.

Beyond geothermal

Eden started as a geothermal resource developer, using abandoned oil and gas wells for production via electric fracking.

“We started seeing there were applications way beyond geothermal,” Smalls said. Early grant providers recommended using the electric fracking technology to go after geologic hydrogen reservoirs, replacing the less environmentally friendly hydraulic fracking process typically used.

A test site in Oman, where exposed iron-rich rock makes the country a potential future geologic hydrogen superpower, will de-risk Eden’s technology, Smalls said. Last year the US DOE convened the first Bilateral Engagement on Geologic Hydrogen in Oman.

Early developments are underway on a demonstration project in Tamarack, Minnesota, Smalls said. That location has the hollow-vein rocks that can produce geologic hydrogen.

“We likely won’t do anything there until after we have sufficiently de-risked the technology in Oman, and that should be happening in the next 8 months,” Smalls said. “There’s a good chance we’ll be the first people in the world to demonstrate this.”

Eden is not going after natural geologic hydrogen, but rather stimulating reactions to change the reservoir properties to make hydrogen underground, Small said.

The University of Minnesota is working with Eden on a carbon mineralization project, Smalls said. The company is also engaged with Minnesota-based mining company Talon Metals.

Revenue from mining, oil and gas

Eden has existing revenue streams from oil and gas customers in Texas and abroad, Smalls said, and has an office in Houston with an expanding team.

“People are paying us to go and stimulate a reservoir,” he said. “We’re using those opportunities to help us de-rick the technology.”

The technology has applications in geothermal development and mining, Smalls said. Those contracts have been paying for equipment.

Mining operations often include or are adjacent to rock that can be used to produce geologic hydrogen, thereby decarbonizing mining operations using both geothermal energy and geologic hydrogen, Smalls said.

“On our cap table right now we have one of the largest mining companies in the world, Anglo American,” Smalls said. “We do projects with BHP and other big mining companies as well; we see a lot of potential overlap with the mining industry because they are right on top of these rocks.

Anti-fracking

Eden is currently going through the process of permitting for a mining project in Idaho, in collaboration with Idaho National Labs, Smalls said.

In doing so the company had to submit a public letter explaining the project and addressing environmental concerns.

“We’re employing a new technology that can mitigate all the issues [typically associated with fracking],” Small said.

With electric fracturing of rocks, there is no groundwater contamination or high-pressure water injection that cause the kind of seismic and water quality issues that anger people.

“This isn’t fracking, this is anti-fracking,” Smalls said.
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Exclusive: Appalachian biogas firm seeking project debt

An RNG developer based in Appalachia with projects across the US is seeking project debt financing.

Northern Biogas, the West Virginia-based developer and operator of anaerobic digester and RNG facilities, is independently seeking debt for its project pipeline, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Backed by HIG Capital, Northern Biogas serves diary, landfill, food waste and municipal projects. The company has raised some $200m in debt with assistance from alternative energy finance provider Pathward National Association, one source said. Project debt has typically been raised in tranches of $20m to $30m for individual projects.

Northern Biogas’ portfolio includes five dairy farm projects under construction in Wisconsin and one in Michigan, according to the company’s website. The company has a presence in Texas and Colorado as well.

Representatives of the company did not respond to requests for comment.
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