US industrial gases company Air Products has unveiled plans to invest about $500m in a new green hydrogen plant in New York state, with commercial operation targeted to begin by 2027.
In July, the project in the town of Massena was awarded 94MW of hydropower from the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) St Lawrence hydropower plant on the Canadian border.
The use of round-the-clock hydropower means that electrolysers can be kept in continuous operation, resulting in green hydrogen with a lower levelised cost than that produced using only solar or wind power.
It is not clear if the 94MW of power to the project would otherwise be consumed as electricity, or if it is surplus to local grid requirements.
Air Products seems to expect local, state and national financial incentives before taking a final investment decision on the project, including the up-to-$3/kg tax credits contained in the recent Inflation Reduction Act.
“Air Products has determined that the market demand warrants the investment in the project, assuming the receipt of certain local and state incentives, as well as any benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and which are anticipated in the current project budget,” the Pennsylvania-based company stated in a press release.
“Further to this proposed facility announcement, Air Products is also investigating the feasibility of establishing a hydrogen fueling station network in the United States’ northeast region, including the ability to serve Air Products’ truck fleet. Air Products has announced plans to convert its global fleet of approximately 2,000 trucks to hydrogen fuel cell zero-emission vehicles.”
The green hydrogen from the facility is expected to be sold for the use in vehicles in the state “as well as other potential Northeast industrial markets”.
New York recently established a target for 100% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold or leased in the state to be zero-emission by 2045.
“In supporting Air Products' expansion in Massena, NYPA is furthering New York's aggressive climate goals and helping to advance the state's vision of becoming a regional hydrogen hub,” said NYPA CEO Justin E Driscoll.
The 820.8MW St Lawrence hydropower plant gets its power from 32 turbines embedded in a long dam that straddles the St Lawrence River separating the US and Canada, with the two countries getting an equal share of the electricity generated.