Old Apple Orchard To Make Clean Hydrogen Energy in Washington State

"Billions of dollars are being invested globally in clean hydrogen development. But massive amounts of electricity would be required to make the clean-burning fuel, extracted from water, a building block of the 21st century low-carbon economy."

"EAST WENATCHEE, Washington—On warm spring days, when the Columbia River is swollen with snowmelt, hydropower generation soars at times when demand may be weak. Markets tank, and sending water through dam turbines can be a money-losing proposition.

In a quest to end these red-ink power sales, the Douglas County Public Utility District is making a $20 million investment in a new, clean energy business.

In an old apple orchard now cleared of trees, a small portion of the electricity from the district’s Wells Dam will be harnessed to make hydrogen fuel from well water.

“This can solve a lot of problems for us,” said Gary Ivory, the utility district’s general manager at a March groundbreaking for the project. “If it works, we can scale it up.”"

James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News and Hal Bernton for the Seattle Times April 15, 2021.

Source: Inside Climate News, 04/16/2021