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Verdagy partners with Doral on electrolyzer supply

Verdagy has entered a strategic agreement to supply electrolyzers to global green hydrogen projects developed by Doral.

Verdagy, an electrolyzer startup, has reached a strategic agreement with Doral, a renewable energy developer, in which Verdagy will supply green hydrogen electrolysis systems to Doral through 2030.

The agreement is global with a focus on green hydrogen projects Doral is developing in EuropeUnited StatesAustralia and the Middle East, according to a news release.

“Doral has a proven track record of developing infrastructure-scale renewable energy projects for over 15 years and Verdagy is excited to work together with Doral to drive the transition to green hydrogen,” said Verdagy CEO Marty Neese.

“Verdagy has developed green hydrogen electrolyzers that seamlessly pair in real-time with renewable energy sources, have the highest efficiencies and are cost-effective. With Verdagy’s electrolyzers already operating for several years, we are excited to now use these in our infrastructure scale, green hydrogen projects,” said Doral Hydrogen Managing Director Yam Efrati-Bekerman.

Doral Energy currently has a 16 GW pipeline of renewable projects under development and 14MWh of battery storage in the US and Europe. Since June 2020, Doral Energy is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: DORL. Doral Hydrogen is the Hydrogen subsidiary of Doral Group to develop, build, and operate green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in the USAAustraliaEurope, and MENA.

The company already operates an HRS in the Netherlands and is developing more than 1GW projects for green hydrogen and ammonia production. Some of the projects will be executed in 2025 and already secured the offtake, the news release states.

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SK Capital acquires Milestone Environmental

Milestone’s CCS subsidiary Milestone Carbon has several CCS projects under development and recently announced progress in its Midland Basin project.

SK Capital Partners and affiliates have completed the acquisition of Milestone Environmental Services from Amberjack Capital Partners, according to a news release.

Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal counsel and Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor to SK Capital. Committed debt financing was provided by Cerberus Business Finance. Goldman, Sachs & Company and White & Case acted as financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively, to Milestone.

SK Capital has taken a controlling stake in Milestone in partnership with President and CEO Gabriel Rio, who will continue to serve in that role and retain significant ownership in the company.

Rio founded Milestone in 2014. It is the largest independent provider of waste management services and an emerging provider of permanent carbon sequestration services to US energy and industrial sectors, the release states.

Headquartered in Houston, Milestone operates a network of waste management infrastructure that permanently sequesters energy waste. Milestone has sequestered more than 2 million tons of CO2e through its proprietary slurry injection process.

Milestone’s CCS subsidiary is Milestone Carbon, focused on serving industrial CO2 emitters by developing and operating injection sites. Milestone Carbon has several CCS projects under development and recently announced significant progress in its Midland Basin project.

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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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Plug Power raises $150m in equity, in talks for debt deal

Plug Power raised $150m in at-the-market equity transactions during 1Q24, and is in conversations with two potential providers of debt for a transaction that would shore up its liquidity.

New York-based Plug Power raised approximately $150m in at-the-market equity funding in the first quarter of 2024 in an effort to shore up its liquidity.

The cash-burning green hydrogen firm is also in talks with two potential providers of debt that would help extend its runway amid a broader focus on cost reduction.

Plug previously said it would tap the at-the-market equity program to avoid having to issue going concern language, and CFO Paul Middleton said today that they have issued $150m through the program.

But the company’s primary focus is on debt solutions, he said.

“We’ve got a couple parties that we’re closer to that than we’ve ever been under terms that are things that, you know, our biggest challenge today has just been in finding terms that we feel like are meaningful and helpful for us and where we’re going,” Middleton said.

“But these are two parties that we feel extremely well about and have done a lot of diligence to know them very well,” he added, “and we’ll see whether that manifests into conclusion.”

ReSource reported last year that Plug is working with Goldman Sachs to raise debt financing.

Executives said that the company is still awaiting a conditional commitment from the DOE for a project loan, though did not provide additional color on timing.

“This program is expected to bolster the buildout of Plug’s liquid hydrogen facilities throughout the United States,” President and CEO Andrew Marsh said on the call.

Marsh added that the company is working with advisors to raise debt and equity that will complement the DOE funding for certain projects.

Plug is reviewing six projects in addition to plants in Georgia, New York, and Texas that are further advanced. The Georgia plant began operations earlier this year, and should help to alleviate Plug’s dependence on more expensive third-party hydrogen sourcing provided to customers.

The company is evaluating locations on the West Coast where it could source hydro power; the middle of the country where it could access low-cost nuclear power; a site further West with solar and wind development; and potentially two more sites in Texas.

“We can obviously always expand our existing footprint and the presence in Georgia as well,” Plug’s Sanjay Shrestha said on the call.

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NOx mitigation firm looking to scale

A publicly listed company with a hydrogen burner project backed by one of the largest US utilities could accelerate growth with a capital infusion in pursuit of first-adopter clients. It offers technology that aims to mitigate an underappreciated aspect of the embryonic clean hydrogen ecosystem: blending hydrogen with natural gas can greatly increase NOx emissions when combusted.

ClearSign Technologies, the publicly listed burner solutions provider, is at an inflection point in the development of its products to serve players in the emerging hydrogen landscape, CEO Jim Deller said in an interview.

“We’re new,” Deller said of the company’s emergence on the hydrogen scene. The company is aggressively seeking a place in the hydrogen mainstream as it pursues first-adopter clients. “We need to get our install base up.”

ClearSign recently received a collaboration commitment and pledged funding for its 100% Hydrogen Ultra Low NOx burner project from Southern California Gas Co. This comes on top of the SBIR program Phase 2 Award for $1.6m from the DOE. The company has one year’s cash on hand, according to Deller.

Hydrogen blending increases the output of NOx emissions, which are heavily regulated, Deller explained. A 20% hydrogen blend with fuel gas, for example, causes a 40% increase in NOx emissions.

The goal of the project with SoCalGas is to develop NOx hydrogen burner technology, which the company believes will enable the adoption of hydrogen fuel for industrial heating.

“Your NOx permit is not going to change,” he said. “In order to use even a small amount of hydrogen in your fuel gas, you need a technology that’s going to allow you to maintain NOx emissions for an efficient price.”

Deller said he sees ClearSign as an enabler of the hydrogen transition, pointing to SoCalGas’ need to keep their clients compliant with their operating permits.

“They’re going to have to modify their technology to enable the combustion of hydrogen without exceeding their NOx permits, and that’s where we come in.”

A ‘pivotal point’

ClearSign is open to discussing partnerships and financial options to scale deployment of its technology, Deller said, pointing to potential markets in Texas and the Pacific Northwest.

“We’re certainly open to any company that has a compatible technology,” Deller said.

ClearSign is not engaged for M&A now, but it does have discussions with prospective financial advisors, company spokesperson Matthew Selinger said. “Like any small company, if we had more money we could potentially accelerate faster.”

The company is not considering a spin off now, Deller said, focusing instead on getting traction commercially. ClearSign has not historically taken on debt. Those types of business opportunities are not off the table, but technical synergy and strategic partnerships are first pursued for value creation.

“We’re at a pivotal point, I believe, in the development of our technology,” Deller said. “I’m open to talk about any ideas.”

A technology in development

The burner technology is also applicable to systems that use only hydrogen, Deller said. The Phase 2 DOE grant funding is meant to develop a full range of commercial burners that will operate through a range of fuel gasses up to and including 100% hydrogen.

ClearSign does not have additional partnerships pending announcement, Deller said. But what’s applicable in Southern California is relevant to discussions happening in proposed hydrogen hubs around the country.

The company is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with process burner manufacturing partner Zeeco. It uses third-party manufacturing and will continue to do so, Deller said.

ClearSign also has offices in Seattle and Beijing. The company’s US and Chinese businesses to not have a materials shipping relationship, Deller said. The model followed has manufacturing separated between countries.

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Exclusive: Midwest renewables developer launches capital raise

A Midwest renewables developer has launched a $340m capital raise for a wind-to-hydrogen operation in the US heartland.

Zero6, the Minneapolis-based renewables developer, owner and operator, recently launched a process to raise $340m in project capital for its portion of the Lake Preston Biofuels Project in South Dakota, senior managing director Howard Stern said in an interview. The company, previously known as Juhl Energy, is partnered with Colorado-based Gevo, which plans to produce SAF on 240 acres at Lake Preston in a project dubbed Net-Zero 1. Zero6 will develop 20 MW of green hydrogen production adjacent to Net-Zero 1 powered by a 99 MW wind farm located 10 miles from the SAF site, Stern said. Plans call for FID late this year, he said. Zero6 met with several financial advisors for the raise, but decided to try and conduct it in-house, Stern said. The company has not ruled out help from an advisor for this raise and could need those services in the future. The goal is to have an anchor investor in place by May, Stern said. The company is open to strategic or financial investors. Zero6’s strategy is akin to a traditional private equity play, holding a project for five to ten years of operation, Stern said. That could change depending on new investors’ outlook. According to the ReSource database, Gevo has additional projects in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. Stern said Zero6 sees opportunities to replicate the Lake Preston strategy in other parts of the country. The Lake Preston project has been tied to the development of carbon capture pipelines through South Dakota, namely the Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline. Gevo officials have made public comments noting that if the Summit pipeline does not get built, it would disadvantage the Lake Preston project on the basis of its carbon intensity score, and the company may seek options elsewhere.
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Former Denbury executive targeting growth through CCS at industrial emitters

Tracy Evans, a former COO of Denbury Resources, has launched a business unit aimed at offering carbon capture and sequestration services for existing industrial emitters.

CapturePoint, a Texas-based carbon capture and enhanced oil recovery specialist, is seeking to grow by offering carbon capture services to existing industrial emitters.

The company, started with an initial focus on enhanced oil recovery operations using CO2, has launched a subsidiary called CapturePoint Solutions to capitalize on growing demand for carbon capture services at industrial plants, CEO Tracy Evans said in an interview.

Evans, a former chief operating officer of Denbury Resources, has years of experience operating CO2 capture units, pipelines, and oil wells. “The only difference between EOR utilization and sequestration is going to the saline aquifers,” he said of the pivot.

The company’s primary focus is on existing emissions, Evans said, emphasizing the immediate opportunity over proposed plants that might take many years to build. He added that the company would target “pure” sources of CO2 versus diluted sources.

Evans brought in a JV equity partner for the CCS business, but declined to name them. He said the company is sufficiently capitalized for now but might need to raise additional equity as it signs up new projects in the next 12 to 16 months.

Tax equity and CCS

CapturePoint recently completed a tax equity deal for a CCS facility that has been operational since 2013, thanks to changes to provisions governing the use of 45Q for carbon capture that allowed existing plants to qualify if they capture over 500,000 tons of CO2.

The deal, at CVR Partners’ Coffeyville fertilizer plant, opened up an initial payment of $18m and includes installment payments, payable quarterly until March 31, 2030, totaling up to approximately $22m.

An ethanol facility where CapturePoint operates will also qualify for 45Q benefits because 80% or more of the carbon capture unit is being rebuilt, Evans said. The company was able to finance the new construction at the ethanol facility from cash flow out of its oil & gas operations.

Going forward, new projects installed at existing emitters will follow a project finance model, with equity, debt, and 45Q investors, Evans said. The company will use a financial advisor when the time is right, the executive noted, but said there’s more work to be done on sizing and costs before an advisor is lined up.

“The capture costs are similar for each site,” he said. “The pipeline distances to a sequestration site is what drives significant variation in total capital costs.”

Evans believes that tax credit increases in the Inflation Reduction Act – from $35 per ton to $60 per ton for CO2 used in EOR, and $50 per ton to $85 for CO2 sequestration – should help the CCS market evolve and lead to additional deals.

“There wasn’t much in it for the emitter at $35 and $50, to be honest,” he said, “whereas at $60 and $85 there’s something in it for the emitter.”

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