ITHACA, N.Y. – Catalyzed by a Cornell University grant and Cornell sustainability research over the past decade, energy storage company Standard Hydrogen Corporation (SHC) and National Grid announced plans March 11 to build the first hydrogen “energy station” of its kind in the nation.
The SHC Energy Transfer System will be built in New York’s Capital Region; completion is expected by late 2022.
Pending regulatory approval, the facility will be the first demonstration of Standard Hydrogen’s multi-use, renewable hydrogen-based energy storage and delivery system. It will be available to fill fuel cell-powered automobiles with carbon-free energy, while also fulfilling other energy needs.
Of particular interest to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which supports SHC through its business incubator, is the facility’s ability to deliver long-duration electrical energy storage.
“There is great hydrogen momentum in New York right now,” said fuel cell chemist Paul Mutolo, executive director of Cornell’s Center for Alkaline Based Energy Solutions and chief executive officer of Standard Hydrogen.
“This system delivers clean power and fuel,” Mutolo said. “Our designs for long-duration energy storage also help to put more solar and wind power on the grid.”
The hydrogen for the SHC Energy Transfer System would be manufactured renewably at the site via an SHC-designed electrolysis system that splits the water molecules – two hydrogens and one oxygen – into gases. The hydrogen gas can power a fuel cell car, leaving just water to escape through the tailpipe.
And by using renewable electricity, such as solar or wind, to power the electrolysis process, hydrogen fuel becomes a sustainable source of energy.
“Green, renewable hydrogen is a key piece of the puzzle to reach net-zero by 2050,” said Badar Khan, president of National Grid U.S. “The new hydrogen-based system is going to reduce emissions in New York across power, transportation and heating, the three most difficult to decarbonize. Innovative systems like this one are going to move the needle for a cleaner tomorrow.”
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Cornell $2.25 million to establish the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute – now called the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (emc2) – to kick-start the development of fuel cells, including the use of hydrogen as a fuel.
Standard Hydrogen was a startup launched from emc2 in 2012. While the company is not commercializing the university’s technology, its genesis came, in part, from the Cornell-GM partnership that continues today.
Cornell also supported the startup company directly through the Center for Future Energy Systems, a New York State Center for Advanced Technology.
Source: Cornell Univ.