Houston-headquartered Chevron acquires majority stake in ongoing hydrogen project
The Houston-based clean energy subsidiary of Chevron is making a big splash in the clean hydrogen sector. It just acquired a majority stake in what’s being promoted as the world’s largest facility for clean hydrogen storage.
Chevron New Energies bought Salt Lake City-based Magnum Development from Houston-based private equity firm Haddington Ventures. As a result, the New Energies unit now owns a majority share of the Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) project in Delta, Utah. A joint venture of Magnum Development and Mitsubishi Power Americas is developing ACES. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
“Having been the primary financial sponsor behind this key energy hub since 2008, we believe this transaction will accelerate lower-carbon-intensity solutions that reduce emissions in the western United States,” says John Strom, managing director of Haddington Ventures.
ACES plans to use electrolysis to convert renewable energy into hydrogen and store the energy in salt caverns. The first phase, designed to convert and store up to 100 metric tons of hydrogen per day, is under construction and expected to begin commercial-scale operations in mid-2025.
“Using salt caverns for seasonal energy storage is a significant opportunity to empower hydrogen as an energy carrier and greatly expand energy storage resources throughout the U.S.,” says ACES contractor WSP, an engineering, environmental and professional services consulting firm.
The hydrogen facility will support Intermountain Power Plant, a Utah power plant operated by the municipal utility in Los Angeles. The stored hydrogen is expected to fuel a hybrid 840-megawatt combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant that’ll replace an 1,800-megawatt, coal-fired power plant.
A CCGT plant harnesses exhaust heat from natural gas turbines to generate steam through a heat recovery steam generator, according to IPIECA, an oil and gas association that focuses on environmental and social issues. The steam is then fed to a steam turbine to supply additional power.
Michael Ducker, senior vice president of hydrogen infrastructure at Mitsubishi Power, says the ACES project “will serve as a blueprint for future hydrogen opportunities.”
“We seek to leverage the unique strengths of each partner to develop a large-scale, hydrogen platform that provides affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy and helps our customers achieve their lower carbon goals,” says Austin Knight, vice president of hydrogen at Chevron New Energies.
Chevron New Energies is marketing its low-carbon hydrogen offering to sectors like transportation, power, and industrial. These sectors face especially big hurdles in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In June 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a $504.4 million loan guarantee to finance ACES. The facility will combine 220 megawatts of alkaline electrolysis with two 4.5 million-barrel salt caverns for storage of clean hydrogen.
ACES expects to create up to 400 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs.