Fusion Fuel and Electus Energy (‘Electus’) announced that the two companies have entered into an exclusive joint venture agreement to develop a large-scale green hydrogen project in Bakersfield, California.
The proposed project is a roughly 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility using Fusion Fuel´s HEVO technology, capable of producing up to 9,300 tons of green hydrogen per annum including nighttime operation. The project would require an estimated €175 million (~$180 million) in capital investment, with a final investment decision expected in early 2024 and commissioning in the first half of 2025. Once operational, this project will provide enough hydrogen fuel to support over 1,000 Class 8 trucks or buses per day.
The companies have already entered into a land-lease agreement to secure 320 acres in Kern County, California for the project's development. Fusion Fuel has engaged Black & Veatch to perform a concept study and is also working with Cornerstone Engineering and Headwaters Solutions.
Jason Baran, Fusion Fuel’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented on the announcement, “This is a critical moment for Fusion Fuel and for our ambition to be a global leader in clean hydrogen solutions. In just under two years as a public company, Fusion Fuel has established itself as a key player in the Iberian green hydrogen ecosystem. However, we knew that entering a new market, particularly one as large and complex as North America, would require a cornerstone project and a credible partner. Due to the unique combination of solar irradiance, California tax incentives, and proximity to large-scale offtake, Bakersfield is the ideal project to anchor our North American strategy. We are extremely excited to be unveiling the Bakersfield project alongside our development partner, Electus Energy, which has been actively developing hydrogen mobility solutions in the Southwestern United States and has cultivated deep relationships with prospective offtakers in the logistics and distribution ecosystem.”
"We are excited about partnering with Fusion Fuel to implement their unique technology and expertise in one of our first large-scale green hydrogen production facilities in California,” said Andrew Greene, Electus Energy’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. “The most critical part of implementing any successful hydrogen mobility program is the ability to source reliable, clean hydrogen fuel at an attractive price, and we believe our partnership with Fusion Fuel will help lower the cost of fuel for our customers and accelerate the adoption of zero-emission hydrogen vehicles for all automotive applications, including heavy trucking, public transportation and automobiles.”
Zachary Steele, Co-Head of Fusion Fuel, added, “North America has always been a focal point of Fusion Fuel’s growth strategy as we build on our successes in Iberia and begin to look beyond Southern Europe. However, the passage of the game changing Inflation Reduction Act earlier this year caused a dramatic acceleration of those plans. The production and investment tax credits promise to significantly improve the already attractive economics of our solar-to-hydrogen solution in many markets across the US.”
“Bakersfield will be the first anchor project of our US strategy, which is heavily focused on the hydrogen mobility and logistics opportunity and envisions a hydrogen highway from California to Texas. While our HEVO-Solar technology is best suited for markets with high solar irradiance, the expected introduction in 2024 of our newest product – HEVO-Chain – will make the entirety of North America part of our addressable market. In support of this strategy and to ensure we are positioned to move quickly to execute on Bakersfield and capitalize on the opportunity provided by the IRA, we will be ramping up our hiring efforts in the US as well as evaluating an investment in a domestic production facility to complement our new factory in Benavente, Portugal.”