Pennsylvania’s first green hydrogen power plant planned for Lancaster County

April 5, 2021

A clean fuel company plans to build Pennsylvania’s first green hydrogen plant in southern Lancaster County.

Fuel cell company Plug Power says the facility will be located along the Susquehanna River.

Green hydrogen is seen as a possible solution for industries with hard-to-cut emissions, like shipping and aviation. It’s made by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity, so it doesn’t give off any carbon emissions. Scientists say emissions must be cut dramatically to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Plug Power is partnering with Holtwood Dam operator Brookfield Renewable Partners. The new plant will use power from the hydroelectric facility and water from the Susquehanna River to produce 15 metric tons of liquid hydrogen per day, which the company says is enough to power 1,500 heavy duty trucks.

The plant is expected to be online by the end of 2022 and create 25 permanent jobs.

CEO Andy Marsh said he hopes to create a national green hydrogen network with a capacity of 500 metric tons of hydrogen per day by 2025. The company owns a Tennessee plant that produces more than 6 metric tons of hydrogen per day and recently announced plans for a new 45 metric ton per day plant in New York.

He said the Lancaster County plant will be well-placed.

“It just makes sense because there’s access, due to their hydro plant, to green electricity and we’re able to make green hydrogen and we have many customers which are within 250 miles of that site that will be able to use our hydrogen for a variety of applications,” Marsh said.

Marsh said his biggest customers are Amazon and Walmart, who use the Plug Power’s fuel cells to run forklifts. Both companies have set emissions reduction goals for 2040 and Marsh said fuel cell vehicles will be necessary to meet those targets.

Read more here.

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