An exclusive joint venture deal has been reached by Fusion Fuel and Electus Energy to build a sizable green hydrogen project in Bakersfield, California.
Using Fusion Fuel’s HEVO technology, the proposed project is a roughly 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility that can generate up to 9,300 tons of green hydrogen annually, even when operating at night. An estimated €175 million ($180 million) in capital expenditure would be needed for the project, with commissioning taking place in the first half of 2025 and a final investment decision anticipated in early 2024. Once it is up and running, this project will produce enough hydrogen fuel to power more than 1,000 Class 8 vehicles or buses per day.
For the project’s construction, the firms have already signed a land-lease deal to obtain 320 acres in Kern County, California. Fusion Fuel is also collaborating with Cornerstone Engineering and Headwaters Solutions and has hired Black & Veatch to do a concept study.
“This is a key time for Fusion Fuel and for our mission to be a global leader in clean hydrogen solutions,” said Jason Baran, Chief Commercial Officer of Fusion Fuel, in response to the news. Fusion Fuel has developed itself as a significant player in the Iberian green hydrogen ecosystem in just under two years after becoming public. However, we were aware that a cornerstone project and a reliable partner would be necessary to break into a new market, particularly one as big and complicated as North America. Bakersfield is the appropriate project to underpin our North American approach because of the special combination of solar irradiance, California tax advantages, and close proximity to large-scale offtake. Together with our development partner, Electus Energy, which has been actively working on hydrogen mobility solutions in the Southwest of the United States and has built strong relationships with potential off-takers in the logistics and distribution ecosystem, we are incredibly excited to announce the Bakersfield project.
According to Andrew Greene, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Electus Energy, “We are delighted about working with Fusion Fuel to deploy their special technology and experience in one of our first significant green hydrogen production facilities in California.” We believe that our partnership with Fusion Fuel will help lower fuel costs for our customers and speed up the adoption of zero-emission hydrogen vehicles for all automotive applications, including heavy trucking, public transportation, and personal vehicles. “The most critical component of implementing any successful hydrogen mobility program is the ability to source reliable, clean hydrogen fuel at an attractive price,” the company states.
In addition, Zachary Steele, Co-Head of Fusion Fuel, said, “As we build on our successes in Iberia and start to look outside Southern Europe, North America has always been a major point of Fusion Fuel’s growth strategy. However, such preparations were dramatically expedited this year as a result of the game-changing Inflation Reduction Act’s earlier approval. In many areas across the US, the production and investment tax credits have the potential to dramatically improve the already alluring economics of our solar-to-hydrogen system.
Bakersfield will be the first focal point of our US strategy, which places a strong emphasis on the potential for hydrogen mobility and logistics and plans to build a hydrogen highway from California to Texas. Our HEVO-Solar technology is best suited for regions with high solar irradiation, but when our newest product, HEVO-Chain, is slated to be released in 2024, the entire continent of North America will be included in our addressable market. We will be stepping up our hiring efforts in the US in support of this strategy and to make sure we are prepared to act quickly to execute on Bakersfield and take advantage of the opportunity presented by the IRA. We will also be evaluating an investment in a domestic production facility to complement our new factory in Benavente, Portugal.