Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Firm to Build First Utility-Scale Hydrogen Power Plant


A New Mexico-based company has announced plans to build what it is calling, the world’s first utility-scale, zero-emissions hydrogen power plant.

Although most-often discussed as a high-efficiency transportation fuel, hydrogen’s role in other sectors of the energy landscape is also making headway. On Wednesday, Jetstream Wind Inc. announced it has broken ground on a new $219 million plant in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico that would use electricity from wind, solar and “other renewable energy sources” to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using a process called electrolysis. The resulting hydrogen would then be burned to spin turbines, similar to those found in natural gas plants.

“Basically, it’s a scaled-up model of eighth-grade science,” CEO of the privately-held Jetstream Wind, Henry Herman, told the Associated Press. “In eighth grade we took DC batteries, ran cables into water and produced hydrogen gas. All we’re doing is utilizing that on a much larger scale.”

Hydrogen + Renewables = Symbiosis?

The 10-megawatt New Mexico plant would be designed to smooth the natural variability of the energy created by wind and solar generators, creating enough electricity to power about 6,000 homes and businesses.

“Intermittent renewables can store their off-peak electricity for use later or for sale as a fuel,” president of the National Hydrogen Association, Jeffrey A. Serfass, wrote in Renewable Energy World last fall.  “Adding a hydrogen system to ensure reliability increases the value of renewables and gives utilities flexibility.”

Just like having a back-up power system, utilities can use the hydrogen on demand to produce electricity when needed most, writes Serfass. “In this way, hydrogen technologies are a key enabler for the wider deployment of renewables.”

But the economic viability of hydrogen as an energy source has long been one of its biggest sticking points, as has the question of where the hydrogen will come from. The vast majority of hydrogen is currently gleaned as a byproduct of natural gas production, but reneawble electrolysis models promoted by companies like Jetstream and others seek to create hydrogen with less carbon-intensive processes like sun, wind and geothermal.

So whether these two sagging alternative energy sectors will lean on each other a little and help get each other back up and running remains to be seen. But innovative projects like these give me hope.

Officials from Jetstream Wind expect it will take more than a year to build the plant once the permitting process is complete. The plant is expected to generate about 150 construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs.

Follow Tim Hurst on twitter

Image via NVGEBE

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: How NVIDIA Is Bringing Autonomy To Automakers

Written By

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

EV Press Releases


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

It’s the end of another month, and thus another opportunity to look back at the most popular CleanTechnica stories of the month — as...

Clean Power

The renewable energy developer Avangrid claps back at wind turbine bird death canard with new condor breeding program.

Clean Power

Global giant Yara dunks on "blue hydrogen" stakeholders with plans for commercial scale production of green ammonia from green hydrogen.

Clean Power

India will soon issue tenders for production and procurement of hydrogen from renewable energy sources, India’s minister for renewable energy revealed. According to media...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.