Exelon Generation plans to develop a hydrogen electrolyser at its Nine Mile Point nuclear plant in New York using a grant secured from the US Department of Energy. The aim is to explore the environmental sustainability, energy security and economical benefits of using a nuclear site to produce hydrogen. Exelon is partnering with Nel Hydrogen and Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to demonstrate integrated production, storage, and normal usage at the nuclear station.
Hydrogen produced from nuclear energy generation at the site has to date been stored at the facility. With the anticipated increase in hydrogen demand, Exelon hopes to be able to utilise this by-product.
The new electrolyser is expected to be operational by 2022 and will take advantage of the existing hydrogen storage system and supporting infrastructure at the site.
Dave Rhoades, chief nuclear officer, Exelon Generation, commented: “Among our many options, we chose the New York site, recognising the strong partnership that we have had with the State, including the support for nuclear energy provided through the New York Public Service Commission’s clean energy standard.”
The project falls under efforts by the energy company to explore low-carbon energy technologies to decarbonise its operations and help the US to meet its climate mitigation targets. The announcement follows the company’s recent commitment to reduce its operations-driven emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2015 levels and ultimately to net-zero by 2050.