In a watershed moment for the green energy movement, nuclear power plans are now making green hydrogen.
Production of green hydrogen is now taking place at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Oswego, New York.
This is a first for the United States and is expected to be a common activity in the years to come, as hydrogen becomes a common fuel for transportation and industry, replacing gas and LNG.
The initiative is a early stage venture between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Constellation Corporation, to demonstrate how nuclear power plants can help lower the cost and scale-up the production of clean hydrogen, renewable energy world reported.
Currently around 95% of the hydrogen currently produced in the United States comes from natural gas—resulting in carbon emissions. The process of converting energy to hydrogen is known as electrolysis.
The use of nuclear energy to produce hydrogen for fuel means the production becomes near carbon zero.
Three more nuclear power plants in the US are set to demonstrate the capabilities in coming months.
A low-temperature electrolysis system is being constructed at the Davis–Besse Nuclear Power Station in Ohio. A high-temperature electrolysis system is underway at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Minnesota. The DOE is also negotiating an award with Arizona Public Service and PNW Hydrogen to demonstrate another low-temperature electrolysis system at the Palo Verde Generating Station.
“This accomplishment tangibly demonstrates that our nation’s existing reactor fleet can produce clean hydrogen today,” said Dr. Kathryn Huff, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. “DOE is proud to support cost-shared projects like this to deliver affordable clean hydrogen. The investments we’re starting to make now through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will further expand the clean hydrogen market to create new economic and environmental benefits for nuclear energy.”
“Hydrogen will be an indispensable tool in solving the climate crisis, and Nine Mile Point is going to show the world that nuclear power is the most efficient and cost-effective way to make it from a carbon-free resource,” said Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation. “In partnership with DOE and others, we see this technology creating a pathway to decarbonizing industries that remain heavily reliant on fossil fuels, while creating clean-energy jobs and strengthening domestic energy security.”