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Power to Hydrogen & ‘Free Electrons’ Global Utility Group Begin Work in Central Ohio

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Columbus-Based Power to Hydrogen Will Pilot Hydrogen Technologies with Global Utilities

COLUMBUS – Driven by the threat of climate change, the world is in the midst of a shift to renewable energy and clean fuels, and green hydrogen is expected to play a key role in this transition.  Power to Hydrogen (P2H2), the Columbus-based clean energy startup has begun work with a consortium of international electrical utilities – including American Electric Power (U.S.), EDP (Portugal), E.ON (Germany), and ESB (Ireland) – to demonstrate its low-cost clean hydrogen production and hydrogen energy storage systems.

The collaboration began as a part of the 2022 Free Electrons Program, the leading innovation program for global utilities. Throughout last year, P2H2 and the Free Electrons utilities worked together to define the future of the electric grid and how hydrogen can play a role in making it cleaner and more resilient. Initially, the potential of P2H2’s technology resulted in the startup winning the $200,000 Grand Challenge Prize in October 2022 at the Final Showcase in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Now, the parties are taking it a step further by piloting the hydrogen technologies in various demonstration projects. This is a first of its kind collaborative pilot effort by the utilities in the Free Electrons program working together to push the technology forward.

The first phase of implementation is being led by P2H2’s growing team of engineers with the assistance of AEP’s team at the utility’s Dolan Technology Center in Columbus, Ohio. The utilities are testing P2H2’s prototype and industrial scale AEM electrolysis technology, as well as its reversible fuel cell technology, a potential breakthrough for long duration energy storage.

“The team is excited to begin demonstration of our technology with a group of forward-thinking global utilities so we can show them what the technology is capable of,” P2H2 CEO Dr. Paul Matter said.

P2H2’s reversible fuel cell technology was partially funded through NASA to economically collect solar energy on the moon and store the energy as hydrogen for use during the two-week-long lunar nights. The same technology has earth-based applications for producing, storing and using hydrogen as a decarbonized energy resource.

Power to Hydrogen is commercializing its patent-protected electrolyzers to reduce the cost of hydrogen production by eliminating expensive precious metals in the system and connecting directly to renewable energy for lower-cost, cleaner electricity.

P2H2’s reversible fuel cell technology also provides a breakthrough in efficient energy storage performance by combining both hydrogen production and electricity generation into a single system.

P2H2 Vice President of Business Development Alex Zorniger has worked closely with the Free Electrons group and was the only clean energy startup to be awarded the cash prize and work on pilot projects with four of the international utilities.

“The work of our co-founders, Paul Matter and Chris Holt, and our entire team of engineers, is being validated through these customer partnerships in ways that will lead to sales globally and manufacturing right here in Central Ohio,” Zorniger said.

For media inquires, please reach out to Alex Zorniger at


Power to Hydrogen is a US-Based clean hydrogen startup located in Columbus, Ohio. The company is setting out to make clean hydrogen competitive against fossil fuels. The company has also been funded by other strategic partners, and major U.S. institutions, including NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and ARPA-E, the advanced research projects agency of the DOE.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 6,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2032. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit

Present in 29 markets, EDP is a global energy company engaged in electricity and gas production, transport, distribution and trading. With around 13,000 employees and over 12 million customers, EDP is at the forefront of innovation and renewable energies, and it has recently committed to even more ambitious clean energy targets, including becoming all green by 2030.

ESB is Ireland’s leading energy utility with operations spanning electricity generation, transmission and distribution and energy supply.  Since 1927, it has worked to enhance the lives of customers, support economic growth and ensure a brighter future for all.  Today that means taking leadership in the transition to a low carbon future, with a target to reach net zero by 2040.  Through our portfolio of brands, ESB Networks, Electric Ireland, ESB International and NIE Networks, we are removing carbon from our generation fleet, creating a smart network to support a low carbon energy system and developing new products and services to help our customers manage their energy use more efficiently.

E.ON is one of Europe’s largest operators of energy infrastructure and a provider of innovative solutions for more than 50 million customers. Thus, we are decisively driving forward the energy transition in Europe and are committed to sustainability, climate protection, and the future of our planet. As an important part of E.ON’s business, Energy Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) is best positioned to become the change agent for the sustainable energy transition. As a long-term energy partner for cities, municipalities, real estate and industrial customers, EIS offers technical infrastructure solutions that improve the carbon footprint of the customers.

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