US Constellation Energy said hydrogen production has started at a demonstration facility at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear NPP in Oswego, New York. This came after the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 2022 awarded $5.8m for the construction and installation of an electrolyser system at the NPP.
The Clean Hydrogen Generation System operating at Nine Mile Point uses 1.25 MWe per hour to produce 560 kg of hydrogen a day. This is more than enough to meet the plant’s operational hydrogen use. The system’s Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser is manufactured by Nel Hydrogen. Constellation hopes this will prepare the way for possible large-scale deployments at other clean energy centres in its fleet that would couple clean hydrogen production with storage and other on-site uses.
Constellation President & CEO Joe Dominguez says that “in partnership with DOE and others, we see this technology creating a pathway to decarbonising industries that remain heavily reliant on fossil fuels, while creating clean-energy jobs and strengthening domestic energy security”.
Constellation notes that it is currently working with public and private entities representing every phase in the hydrogen value chain to pursue development of regional hydrogen production and distribution hubs. It has committed to invest $900m by 2025 for commercial clean hydrogen production using nuclear energy. This includes participation in the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2), Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub and Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub, all of which are collaborating with DOE.
“This accomplishment tangibly demonstrates that our nation’s existing reactor fleet can produce clean hydrogen today,” said Dr Kathryn Huff, DOE 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 even further expand the hydrogen market to create new economic and environmental benefits for nuclear energy.”
Image: The Clean Hydrogen Generation System at Nine Mile Point (courtesy of Constellation Energy)