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Tenaska unveils Alabama CCS hub

Construction on the project is slated to begin as soon as late 2025, pending permitting approvals.

Tenaska has unveiled the Longleaf CCS Hub, a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project planned for Mobile County. The facility will provide an innovative business solution to assist manufacturers, power plants, industrial processors and other industries in South Alabama in meeting emissions regulations and climate mandates.

Longleaf CCS Hub is participating in an award through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), allowing for $17.9 million in funding to support geologic characterization and permitting efforts, according to a news release.

This DOE funding brings together a diverse project team, which includes Southern States Energy Board (award recipient), Tenaska, Advanced Resources International, Crescent Resource Innovation, ENTECH Strategies, the Geological Survey of Alabama, the University of South Alabama and Williams. Baker Hughes Oil Field Services and Environmental Resources Management will also participate as vendors, with Southern Company Services taking on the role of the Project Industry Network lead.

Tenaska’s initial development of the Longleaf CCS Hub started in 2022. The project’s Class VI application is under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Tenaska has solicited interest from a number of emitter customers in the region. Pending all necessary permitting approvals, construction is slated to begin as soon as late 2025, with commercial injection expected a year later. Actual start of construction will be scheduled to synchronize the start of injection with the customers’ readiness to capture CO2.

The project aims to add to the stability and growth of the region, offering a viable path for existing businesses to comply with evolving environmental standards and attracting new ventures that will contribute to the region’s economic vitality and employment opportunities.

“Through the Longleaf CCS Hub, we’re not just addressing the growing demand for efficient CO2 management solutions; we’re fostering an ecosystem of economic resilience and sustainability,” said Joel Link, president of Tenaska’s Development Group. “This project reflects our commitment to innovative solutions while propelling Alabama to the forefront of economic growth.”

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Power plant manager seeking capital for Boston acquisitions

A manager of natural gas power plants is seeking capital to acquire two facilities in the Boston area and convert them into low-carbon generation assets.

US Grid Company, an owner and operator of electric generation assets in US cities, is seeking to raise capital to make a pair of acquisitions in Boston.

The New York-based plant manager is targeting facilities owned by Calpine and Constellation, CEO Jacob Worenklein said.

Calpine owns the Fore River Energy Center, a 731 MW, combined-cycle plant located 12 miles southeast of Boston, while Constellation owns Mystic Generating Station, a 1,413 MW natural gas-fired plant in Everett, Massachusetts.

Worenklein would acquire the assets and seek to implement lower-carbon generation solutions such as batteries, renewables, or clean fuels, he said.

He has held conversations with both Calpine and Constellation about acquiring the assets, and would need approximately $100m of equity capital to make an acquisition, he said, with the balance coming in the form of debt capital.

US Grid Company previously had investment backing from EnCap Energy Transition and Yorktown Partners, but the funds for the deal were pulled.

Worenklein has had a storied career in the US power sector, serving as a global head in roles at SocGen and Lehman Brothers. He was also founder and head of the power and projects law practice at Milbank.

From 2017 to 2020 he served as chairman of Ravenswood Power Holdings, the owner and operator of a 2,000 MW gas-fired plant in Queens, New York.

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Klean Industries agrees German partnerships for containerized hydrogen facilities

The arrangement will allow Vancouver-based Klean to add hydrogen production to its tire recycling operations in Oregon and beyond.

Klean Industries has signed a partnership agreement with H2 Core Systems to distribute and build green hydrogen projects around the globe, according to a press release.

H2 Core Systems develops, manufactures, and maintains modular and configurable electrolysis systems that are expandable and scalable at any time.

The combination of this partnership in deploying hydrogen at scale is being built on the foundation of Enapter AG’s anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolysers. Enapter provides this partnership with modular electrolyzers which can be deployed individually or at scale for any amount of on-site hydrogen and for any application. Inspired by the mind-blowing cost reduction of solar panels and microchips through standardization and mass production, the release states, Enapter has developed plug-and-play electrolysers that can be manufactured at scale.

“Klean, H2 Core, and Enapter share synergistic values and the understanding of what the world needs to achieve Net Zero, in a Circular Economy that supports the development of a sustainable society. The KleanTeam has conducted extensive due diligence on the hydrogen production marketplace, and we believe that H2 Core’s technology applications combined with Enapter’s AEM Electrolysers’ and energy management system offer the perfect design for both Klean’s internal projects and our customers’ projects. The uniqueness of these designs also compliments the integration of our KleanLoop™ technology, which together represent a game changer for combined applications of alternative energy production”, said Marc Schwarzlose, Director of Project Development for Klean Industries Inc.

Over the course of the next few months, Klean is planning the development of a modular and scalable 40’ containerized pilot project with the integration of an AEM MultiCore 1 MW electrolytic production unit designed by H2 Core for Klean’s flagship facility in Boardman, Oregon. This site is the perfect location for creating green hydrogen onsite from cost-effective, clean, reliable, and environmentally friendly hydroelectric power as Boardman has one of the lowest costs for electricity in North America.

The hydrogen produced at the Boardman facility is being engineered for its potential application and use in Klean’s modular oil upgrading units. The carbon emissions-free hydrogen produced can be utilized to upgrade recovered fuel oil and pyrolysis oil into highly valuable, drop-in replacement fuel known as e-fuels to produce significantly lower CO2 gasoline and diesel to meet the needs of California’s Low Carbon Fuels Standards.

Additionally, Klean and H2 Core see an opportunity for a number of Klean’s projects to have their own hydrogen-generating plants for producing 100% renewable green hydrogen, which could be used in Klean’s fleet vehicles for the collection and transportation of feedstock and output products. This alone offers a significant environmental advantage to its projects and the communities in which Klean operates, according to the release. This concept is further reinforced by the ability to also integrate fuel cells, engines, and boilers that are powered by green hydrogen to offset energy costs in terms of electrical demand, with the added benefit of also providing both heating and cooling applications in various projects.

Beyond Klean’s internal applications, H2 Core and Klean see increasing market demand for green hydrogen produced by electrolysis. Together through this partnership, Klean plans to work with its project partners in Canada, the United States, and Australia to deploy H2 Core’s fully integrated containerized solutions. By doing so, they aim to unlock hydrogen’s true potential in reducing pollution and climate change by building hydrogen supply solutions and station networks to support the rollout of fuel-cell electric vehicles and decentralized renewable energy plants.

“Partnerships make what we do at H2 Core Systems possible. Enapter, H2 Core Systems, and Klean Industries are aligned in our commitment to both deploying and developing a renewable hydrogen value chain. We believe this partnership is a great first step in what we hope will become a long and successful relationship”, said Ulf Joergensen, CEO H2 Core Systems.

“We believe Enapter’s mass-produced AEM Electrolysers will enable low-cost green hydrogen to be deployed at a massive scale in the shortest amount of time. It is partnerships like this that illustrate the demand and opportunity throughout various industries for green hydrogen worldwide. By combining technologies and applications, this partnership offers integrated solutions that address both climate protection and decentralized energy generation. To make all of this happen, we must act with urgency, opt for simplicity, and insist on transparency and global partnerships.\”, said Sebastian-Justus Schmidt, CEO Enapter GmbH.

“Developing clean energy projects in partnership with leading technology providers such as Enapter and H2Core Systems supports Klean’s strategic focus and enables our companies to create a symbiosis between waste, resources, and energy, while simultaneously creating a circular low carbon economy,” said Jesse Klinkhamer, CEO of Klean Industries Inc.

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Renewable fuels developer attracts investment from Sumitomo, pivots to SAF

Louisiana developer Strategic Biofuels has attracted investment from Sumitomo Corporation of the Americas and pivoted its flagship project to produce sustainable aviation fuel.

Strategic Biofuels, the developer of a renewable fuel plant in Louisiana, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA), a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, have entered into a Joint Development Agreement for the Louisiana Green Fuels (LGF) project at the Port of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana.

SCOA will take an anchor position and lead the formation of a Japanese-based investment consortium aimed at funding the majority of development capital needed to carry the project to Financial Investment Decision (FID) and commencement of construction in early 2025, according to a news release.

As part of the agreement, SCOA will also acquire rights at FID to participate for a portion of the full project equity requirement. In a decisive strategic shift related to the investment, Strategic Biofuels also unveiled plans to change its primary renewable fuel product to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SCOA intends to provide a 20-year offtake for the approximately 640 million gallons of renewable fuels produced as well as all state and federal renewable fuel credits.

“Our goal has always been to bring online a fuels plant contributing to a sustainable future, and we are thrilled to have SCOA as our partner in our LGF endeavor. The shift to SAF is an exciting moment for us and our partners, for the energy landscape in Louisiana and for the greater global energy transition overall,” said Dr. Paul Schubert, CEO of Strategic Biofuels. “Although we have a lot of work ahead of us, our team is fully prepared to advance the project to FID and supply SCOA with SAF.”

When the LGF project was first announced, Strategic Biofuels garnered recognition for the extraordinarily low carbon footprint of the planned renewable diesel fuel product. The footprint of SAF that will now be produced is expected to be so low that just one gallon of it blended with three gallons of fossil-derived jet fuel will reduce the dependency on carbon in the future. To achieve this carbon reduction in 2029, the LGF plant will utilize:

  • Approximately 1 million tons per year of forestry waste as the feedstock for the biorefinery;
  • Green energy from an integrated biomass-fired power plant that will take nearly 1 million tons of sawmill waste annually to produce 86 megawatts of power; and
  • Geologic carbon sequestration of 1.36 million metric tons per year of CO2 produced from both of those operations to create this fuel which is equivalent to removing nearly 300,000 passenger cars from the road, making it a product much in demand by the aviation industry.

“Our partnership with Strategic Biofuels is just another example of our commitment to support the energy transition within the Americas,” said Sandro Hasegawa, General Manager, Energy Innovation Initiative Americas at SCOA. “Supporting the LGF project means bringing groundbreaking technology to the Port of Columbia that enables the local economy and sustains the natural environment. We look forward to leading the investment with our partners in Japan and demonstrating what can be accomplished when global players work together.”

This investment commitment from SCOA continues the path from 2023, which was a year of rapid project advancement for LGF. Most recently, Strategic Biofuels announced that the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality had issued an Air Permit for the integrated LGF facility, an industry “first of its kind” in Louisiana and a major step forward for the project. This followed an agreement with SLB, a global technology company, to provide its industry-leading technical services for the company’s planned carbon sequestration complex. Earlier in the year, the EPA deemed the project’s Class VI permit application for carbon sequestration as “administratively complete,” which included extensive geologic data collected from LGF’s 2021 Class V stratigraphic test well.

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US hydrogen and LNG developer raising capital

A Texas-based project developer is conducting a development capital raise for a flagship LNG and green hydrogen project in the Northeast.

New Energy Development Company, a Katy, Texas-based developer with offices in Boston, Texas, is raising between $5m and $8m for an LNG liquefaction, storage and re-gasification facility with additional green hydrogen production and storage, Partner Scott Shields said in an interview.

The company is not using a financial advisor, Shields said, noting that a larger second round capital raise will likely start near the beginning of 2024.

New Energy has secured a brownfield site for a peak-shaving LNG facility in New England with 2 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and 50 MW of solar pv, Shields said. Also planned is an expandable 40 MW PEM electrolyzer line.

He declined to name the state in which the project is located, adding that the company is trying to put a strong support system and marketing plan in place before the location is made public.

The proceeds of the capital raise will go in part to hiring local lawyers and engineering and design work (pre-FEED and FEED), through to FID, Shields said. The project will be built in two phases, Phase 1 being the LNG component and Phase 2 focusing on green hydrogen.

The LNG facility will be the offtaker for the hydrogen, which will run the plant when the solar is insufficient. Through an open season process New Energy has identified five investment grade offtakers for the LNG.

Ramping capex

“We’ve been self-funding up until now,” Shields said of New Energy, which has also put capital and development resources into half-a-dozen other projects around the country.

It’s time for a ramp up in capital expenditures and New Energy is in discussions with strategic and private equity providers, Shields said, noting that the company would prefer the former. Discussions include options to fund just the flagship project, as well as platform equity.

Shields noted that he has investment banking experience and that New Energy Managing Partner Alexander “Hap” Ellis serves as chairman of Old Westbury Funds and the George and Barbara Bush Foundation.

New Energy has partnered with McDermott International to develop patented GreenER hydrogen facilities, a modular, expandable hydrogen facility that can produce 24,000 kg per day (2,760 MMBtu) of renewable hydrogen. The companies in 2021 completed engineering deliverables for multiple designs which are marketed as ideal for grid-scale blending with natural gas pipelines, blending for existing or new power generating facilities and storage injection into salt caverns and above ground storage tanks.

The company has also combined GreenER LNG and hydrogen production and storage plants into an integrated energy hub, capable of producing an additional 200,000 MMBtu of LNG.

New Energy recently hired Chico DaFonte, formerly a vice president at Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power, as executive vice president working on LNG and hydrogen projects.

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Aemetis capitalized for hydrogen and biofuel development plans

Aemetis CEO Eric McAfee said in an interview that the company has lined up financing to complete the $1.2bn in biogas and sustainable aviation fuel projects it has in development.

Aemetis is well capitalized to complete the $1.2bn in biogas and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) projects it has in development, CEO Eric McAfee said in an interview.

Founded by McAfee in 2006 and listed on the NASDAQ in 2014, Aemetis plans to produce more than 60 million gallons per year of SAF and capture and sequester 125,000 mtpy of carbon in 2025. This is a diversification from existing ethanol, RNG and biodiesel operations in the US and India.

The company recently released an updated five-year plan including plans to generate $2bn of revenues, $496m of net income, and $682m of adjusted EBITDA by 2027.

McAfee, noting that Aemetis is well capitalized and has locked in financing for much of its plans, said, “The only thing we really need to do is just execute.”

For example, the company closed $25m of USDA loan guarantees in October at a 6.2% interest rate, McAfee said. The company has also signed a $125m USDA commitment letter for its Riverbank Biofuels Project in California, also called CarbonZero 1, which will produce SAF.

“We’ll be expanding that relationship with [the USDA],” McAfee said. “Everything else is financed.”

The Riverbank Biofuels Project has signed offtake agreements with major airlines, and the SAF segment is expected to be the biggest contributor to Aemetis’ revenues once the project is online in 2025, according to a presentation. Renewable diesel and SAF will add $348m of revenues in 2025 and $693.3m of revenues in 2026.

For its carbon sequestration projects, referring to upgrades at the existing Keyes ethanol plant in California and other operational assets, the company has an existing $100m line of credit provided by Third Eye Capital, $50m of which remains unused, McAfee said.

Projected revenues will allow the company to self-fund without new credit facilities, McAfee said. Revenues from Aemetis’ debt-free operations in India will also be available to fund new developments.

The Riverbank SAF plant will be fully engineered and permitted this year, McAfee said. Baker Hughes and ATSI are the company’s EPC partners on the new developments.

Aemetis has no plans to divest existing operational assets but could acquire California biogas assets, McAfee said. The company regularly talks to investment bankers.

McAfee is the largest single shareholder in Aemetis. JackBlock, the former US Secretary of Agriculture, sits on the company’s board. The largest institutional shareholder is BlackRock.

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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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