Fusion Fuel and Electus Energy to develop 75MW Californian solar-to-hydrogen plant

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A 73MW solar plant in California. The Fusion/Electus 75MW project will power a hydrogen plant. Image: Idemitsu Renewables.

Green Hydrogen company Fusion Fuel has penned an agreement with energy infrastructure developer Electus Energy to build a 75MW green hydrogen plant in Bakersfield, California.

The project will consist of 75MW of solar powering a hydrogen electrolyser plant capable of generating 9,500 tonnes of hydrogen annually, using Fusion’s HEVO technology. Fusion Fuel said that investment is expected to close in early 2024, with commissioning complete in mid-2025. The project will require an estimated investment of US$185 million.

This represents Irish-headquartered Fusion Fuel’s first foray into the North American market, and the company said that the Bakersfield solar-to-hydrogen facility will form the cornerstone of its US operations.

“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,” said Fusion Fuel chief commercial officer Jason Baran.

The companies have already signed a land-lease agreement for 320 acres in Kern County, California.

Last month, PV Tech Premium published a feature discussing the role of hydrogen in easing solar curtailment; as grid insufficiencies and transitioning power systems put limits on the rate of solar installations, hydrogen plants offer an outlet for excess solar capacity.

Zachary Steele, co-head of Fusion Fuel said: “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.”

6 June 2023
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