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Summit Carbon Solutions adds POET ethanol plants to pipeline footprint

POET had previously signed a letter of intent with Navigator CO2 Ventures, a carbon capture and pipeline project that was cancelled last year.

Ethanol producer POET has partnered with Summit Carbon Solutions to add 17 ethanol facilities in the Midwest to Summit’s carbon capture and storage project, according to a news release.

The partnership strategically expands the carbon opportunity across the Midwest by incorporating POET’s 12 facilities in Iowa and five facilities in South Dakota into the Summit project. This addition will facilitate the capture, transportation, and permanent storage of 4.7 million metric tons of CO2 annually from the 17 POET bioprocessing plants.

POET had previously signed a letter of intent with Navigator CO2 Ventures for 18 of its facilities. The Navigator pipeline was cancelled last year amid regulatory hurdles.

“POET is excited to partner with Summit Carbon Solutions on this historic project,” said Jeff Broin, POET Founder and CEO. “As the world seeks low-carbon energy solutions, carbon capture ensures that ag-based biofuels will remain competitive for decades to come. This is a tremendous opportunity to bring value to farmers, bioethanol producers, and rural communities and counties in participating states, and I believe it will unleash even more opportunities for ag and bioprocessing in the future.”

“Today marks a historic day for American agriculture and biofuels,” said Bruce Rastetter, Founder and Executive Chairman of Summit Agricultural Group. “POET is the largest bioethanol producer in the world, and their partnership with Summit Carbon Solutions ensures that decarbonizing bioethanol will lead to exciting new market opportunities for producers, rural economies, and American energy security.”
“Our partnership with POET is creating new economic opportunities in agriculture,” said Lee Blank, CEO of Summit Carbon Solutions. “This initiative is aimed at enhancing the financial profitability of our farmers, contributing to higher land values, and ensuring a more prosperous future for farm families and communities. Our focus is on tangible benefits that directly support the backbone of our nation’s agricultural industry.”

The timeline for the addition of these plants is strategically planned. The plants in South Dakota will be included in the upcoming state application, ensuring a streamlined integration into Summit’s existing project framework. Meanwhile, for the plants in Iowa, separate applications will be filed, acknowledging the unique requirements and opportunities in each state. This structured approach allows Summit to efficiently expand our project scope while adhering to local regulations and needs.

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Monarch Energy considering Illinois SAF plant

The plant would supply SAF to the Rockford International Airport, according to a column by Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Monarch Energy is considering a sustainable aviation fuel facility in Rockford, Illinois.

The plant would supply SAF to the Rockford airport, according to a column by Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth.

“Monarch is considering building a facility that would use the emissions from nearby landfills that are already overburdened with waste from metro areas, converting them into American-made Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) that could then be used at Rockford International Airport,” the senator wrote.

In an interview last year, Monarch CEO Ben Alingh said the company was focused on several green hydrogen projects in the Gulf Coast region, most notably a 500 MW project near Beaumont, Texas and a 300 MW project near Geismar, Louisiana.

Monarch has a $25m preferred equity investment and $400m project equity commitment from LS Power.

The proceeds of the preferred equity raise will fund pre-FID aspects of Monarch’s 4.5 GW green hydrogen development platform: overhead, project development, interconnection, land, permitting, and engineering.

The $400m commitment, meanwhile, is earmarked for project equity investments in Monarch’s pipeline of projects. Under the arrangement, the projects will be dropped into a new entity, Clean Hydrogen Fuels, LLC, where LS Power provides the capital and Monarch provides the project, Alingh said in the interview.

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Hydrofuel Canada issued US patents for micro ammonia production

Hydrofuel says its technology can significantly reduce the overall cost of green ammonia and the hydrogen in it to 50% of the cost of hydrogen produced via current electrolysis technologies.

Hydrofuel Canada Inc. has been issued US Patent 11,885,029 “Systems and Methods for Forming Nitrogen-Based Compounds” and has completed of their Micro Ammonia Production System (MAPS 1.0) commercial prototype, enabling high-yield, sustainable ammonia synthesis from air and water with unprecedented efficiency using a gas-phase electrochemical process.

The MAPS 1.0 and 2.0 technologies significantly reduce the costs and energy requirement of making ammonia (NH3) compared to traditional methods, according to a news release. Multiple 381 ton per year units can be combined to operate in series or parallel to increase capacity.

The US$700,000 MAPS 1.0 version uses externally produced hydrogen (H2) to synthesize with nitrogen from air to make ammonia.

The US$850,000 MAPS 2.0 system represents a major breakthrough in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia, as it addresses one of the biggest challenges in hydrogen production – the high cost of electrolysis. By combining hydrogen and nitrogen production in a single unit, MAPS 2.0 eliminates the need for separate production processes, significantly reducing the overall cost of green ammonia and the hydrogen in it to 50% of the cost of hydrogen produced via current electrolysis technologies. All Capex and Opex costs quoted exclude any government incentives or tax credits.

Hydrofuel’s MAPS 2.0 Opex, Capex, Customer Deposit (CNW Group/Hydrofuel Canada Inc.)

“We are thrilled to announce the issuance of our US patent for MAPS 1.0 and the completion of our commercial prototype” said Greg Vezina, Chairman and CEO of Hydrofuel Canada. “This is a major milestone and a significant step towards making clean energy and fertilizer more affordable and accessible with MAPS 1.0 units expected to be available by the spring of 2025. With MAPS 2.0 expected to be released in the summer of 2025, customers will be able to produce and store green hydrogen in ammonia at a fraction of the cost, making it a game-changer in the clean energy and fertilizer industries. We will soon announce details of our pre-order campaign that will enable customers to place a small deposit on one of our MAPS units for early delivery.”

The company is currently in talks with potential partners and investors to bring MAPS 1.0 and 2.0 to the market and make a significant impact in the clean energy and fertilizer sectors. With the US patent and commercial prototype completed, Hydrofuel Canada is one step closer to achieving their goal of making green energy and chemicals more affordable and accessible for all.

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World Energy GH2 inks $95m credit facility with Canadian export agency

The project in Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a $95m credit facility with Export Development Canada to support a green ammonia project through financial close.

Export Development Canada (EDC), on behalf of the Government of Canada, and World Energy GH2 have signed definitive agreements in connection with a CA$128M ($95M) credit facility to support the development of Project Nujio’qonik through to its financial close of its longterm financing, according to a news release.

The credit facility will help finance the build out of clean power generation and clean hydrogen production that will advance Canada’s efforts and initiatives in pursuit of global decarbonization.

The agreement demonstrates Canada’s continuing material support of the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance signed between the two countries at Project Nujio’qonik’s site in Stephenville, NL, in August 2022, and provides leadership for renewable green energy to be generated and exported to markets in Germany, Europe and around the world, as well as for domestic consumption.

Once complete, Project Nujio’qonik will produce ~210,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year (1.2 million tonnes of green ammonia) with the first phase expected to produce ~400,000 tonnes of green ammonia for export.

Project Nujio’qonik’s green hydrogen and ammonia will be RFNBO-compliant (renewable fuels of non-biological origin), and will meet Europe’s criteria for green hydrogen. Project Nujio’qonik’s first phase will create approximately 2,200 direct construction jobs, 400 operations jobs, and 4,200 indirect jobs.

RBC Capital Markets and Green Giraffe Advisory are acting as financial advisors for the credit facility on behalf of World Energy GH2. McCarthy Tétrault and McInnes Cooper are acting as legal advisors to World Energy GH2. Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and Stewart McKelvey are acting as legal advisors on the transaction.

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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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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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New clean fuels firm takes first external financing

A clean fuels startup aiming to provide turnkey decarbonization solutions will be in the market for additional capital shortly.

Elemental Clean Fuels has closed on its first round of external financing from investors Piney Point Capital and Fusion Fuel Green plc, according to a company spokesperson.

The money will be used to build out the company’s pipeline and add new projects, which it plans to develop, own and operate. Clean fuels would be produced from renewables via electrolysis, followed by storage and transportation solutions, according to the company’s website.

Capital investment provided by Piney Point will be utilized by ECF to further develop its existing decarbonization portfolio in North America, as well as to expand its internal capabilities and add additional project assets (including the projects contributed by Fusion Fuel), according to a news release.

ECF is a business venture of CEO Zach Steele and CFO Jason Baran, former executives of Fusion Fuel who have executed and managed over $3bn in development projects in North America. They are joined by CDO Jeff Crone, a former vice president of engineering and construction services at Buckeye Partners.

In parallel, Fusion Fuel has also entered into a strategic technology partnership with Elemental, granting Fusion Fuel the right to bid on all PEM-based green hydrogen projects in Elemental’s North American pipeline for a period of three years, according to a release from Fusion Fuel.

Elemental has approximately 40 MW in pre-feasibility projects within its pipeline and is currently collaborating with Fusion Fuel on a feasibility study for a 2 MW green hydrogen project for a state utility to be delivered in 2024. This partnership will provide Fusion Fuel with exposure to the emerging North American green hydrogen market, whilst enabling the company to focus its near-term commercial efforts on the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Europe.

“We are extremely excited to have Piney Point as a partner as we progress our mission to drive growth in the emerging clean fuels market,” said Steele. “With investments in a broad range of companies across the energy transition, they are uniquely positioned to provide strategic partnerships and additional access across the value chain to drive scale.  Piney Point’s investment and expertise will accelerate the growth of our Company in the mobility and heavy industry sectors throughout North America.  We are also excited and optimistic about continued collaboration with Fusion Fuel going forward.”

“As investors, Piney Point Capital recognizes the immense potential of ECF in revolutionizing the clean fuel landscape. We believe in the vision and capabilities of the ECF team, and we are committed to supporting their mission to accelerate decarbonization through innovative projects and strategic partnerships across North America,” said Mike Keough, managing partner Piney Point Capital, a subsidiary of Racon Capital.

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