Exelon’s Generation division will create a demonstration project for making carbon-free green hydrogen at one of its nuclear power plants.
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Exelon Generation a grant to explore the potential benefits of on-site H2 production at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Oswego, New York. Exelon will partner with Nel Hydrogen, the Argonne and Idaho National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to demonstrate integrated production, storage and usefulness of hydrogen at the two-unit, 3-GW station.
Hydrogen itself does not contain a carbon atom, but is often created via carbon-intensive methods such as steam methane reforming of natural gas. Using carbon-free nuclear power to produce high-quality steam and utilize that in an electroyzer would make the hydrogen produced truly green, according to reports.
“This partnership with DOE reflects our continued commitment to innovation and further demonstrates the immense value of our nuclear fleet and its ability to provide carbon-free energy to the communities we serve,” said Dave Rhoades, chief nuclear officer, Exelon Generation. “Among our many options, we chose the New York site, recognizing 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 amount of hydrogen safely stored at the site will not change significantly as a result of this initiative and plant staff are fully prepared to support the project using existing operational protocols.
A Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer will be installed and will use the station’s existing hydrogen storage system and supporting infrastructure. The electrolyzer will be installed and operations are expected to begin in 2022.
Hydrogen is being tested for use with traditional gas-fired turbines in power generation. However, it also is an important energy resource in industrial and transportation applications.
Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station Unit 1 was commissioned in the late 1960s. Unit 2 went online in the 1980s.