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Power to Hydrogen and global utility leaders successfully complete phase I of first-ever industrial-scale AEM electrolysis stack demonstration

Power to Hydrogen team stands near their technology

(March 5th, 2024) – Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) has partnered with global utility leaders American Electric Power (AEP), EDP, E.ON, and Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to demonstrate the first ever industrial scale Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM)-based electrolysis stack for low-cost green hydrogen production. Green hydrogen is a potential emissions-free alternative to fossil fuels for energy storage, heating, and industrial applications. The pilot project between the global utilities and P2H2 focused on demonstrating a fully integrated system based on P2H2’s patented hybrid liquid alkaline / AEM stack design. During the successful Phase I of the project, the demonstrated pilot system used an AEM-based stack that was 4x larger than has ever been installed with a customer to date. Phase II will demonstrate full-scale modules in a commercial setting.

AEM-based electrolysis technology is viewed as a high potential breakthrough in the hydrogen industry due to its ability to integrate easily with renewables, while removing the need for expensive and supply chain constrained raw materials. By eliminating the need for materials, like gold, platinum, iridium, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS), an AEM electrolysis stack can reduce cost by 70% compared to existing electrolyzer stacks. While AEM technology provides significant promise for the hydrogen industry, the technology is still in the scale up phase. The demonstrated stack and system incorporated P2H2’s hybrid liquid alkaline / membrane design that drastically improves performance and durability compared to conventional AEM electrolyzer designs.

The pilot project focused on demonstration of key performance criteria necessary for integrating the electrolysis system directly with renewable energy. The system demonstrated the ability to react quickly to load changes and produce hydrogen more efficiently than any renewable load-following product on the market. The system was operated under simulated renewable energy load cycles for over 1,000 hours of operation, with degradation rates matching conventional alkaline and PEM electrolysis systems. Renewable load following enables direct connection of the electrolyzer to low-cost electricity “behind the meter” and will make the technology eligible for U.S. and European green hydrogen tax incentives. The demonstrated cost reductions with respect to electricity input and equipment cost are critical to reaching a <$2/kg hydrogen cost target, which can put clean hydrogen at a competitive level with fossil fuels, even without government incentives.

“Our hybrid liquid alkaline/AEM technology is critical to allowing hydrogen to reach its decarbonization potential. Existing electrolysis technologies are dependent on using steady, grid electricity that is often carbon intense, or they rely on expensive raw materials that cause additional ecological issues. Our technology charts a course to avoid both of those issues. With the Free Electrons collaboration, we want to eventually help decarbonize electrical grids and heavy industry all over the world” said Power to Hydrogen CEO, Paul Matter.

AEP, EDP, E.ON, and ESB are partnering together as a part of their Free Electrons program, the leading innovation program for global utilities working to decarbonize the grid. Head of Innovation Pipeline at ESB, John McKiernan, had this to say about the project, “Climate change is relentless. We urgently need to pivot to 100% clean energy. A step change breakthrough in storage cost is imperative to hit NetZero. We are at 40% clean electricity in Ireland already, but a paradigm shift in storage tech is now needed to hit 100%. The Power to Hydrogen pilot demo at AEP’s facility in Ohio offers genuine potential to crack the hydrogen price point challenge. We are excited about the prospects for low-cost megawatt scale facilities. Low-cost green hydrogen is the missing piece of the puzzle that we urgently need to solve before climate change goes beyond the tipping point. ESB is delighted to be collaborating with our Free Electrons partners AEP, EDP and EON to help P2H2 prove the viability and reliability of this unique H2 solution. It’s not rocket science, but they are working with NASA! In future, history may very well show this technology was the linchpin for global NetZero.”

Luis Manuel, Executive Board Member at EDP Innovation, said the following about the successful pilot, “EDP is supportive of technology development in the hydrogen space, and we acknowledge the achievement of an important milestone in advancing low-cost green hydrogen production through the adoption of AEM-based electrolysis. This project can contribute significantly to the hydrogen industry, representing a promising step towards a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels”.

The utility pilot took place at American Electric Power’s facility in Columbus, Ohio. With the successful completion of this pilot, the groups intend to test an even larger industrial scale version of the technology by the end of 2024. Details of the next phase will be publicly announced in the near future. These pilots are focused on enabling a 10MW+ commercial scale system that can make a significant impact on industrial and energy storage decarbonization.

For media inquiries:
Alex Zorniger
VP of Business Development, Power to Hydrogen

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