D.O.E. Gives $308 Million to Build Kern Co. Hydrogen Plant

Southern California Edison will contribute about $30 million toward the project

An international company with offices in Long Beach announced that it had received a $308 million contract from the Department of Energy for building a hydrogen-fueled electrical plant in Kern County.

Hydrogen Energy International USA, jointly owned by BP and the mining company Rio Tinto, was awarded the contract as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is part of the third round of the Department of Energy's Clean Coal Power Initiative.

"This award is a significant commitment by the U.S. Administration to low-carbon power generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Both the DOE and Hydrogen Energy recognize that this project may become the model for new power-generating facilities throughout the world," said Lewis Gillies, chief executive officer of Hydrogen Energy International.

Hydrogen Energy just completed the engineering and design for a low-carbon project in Abu Dhabi.

Southern California Edison will contribute about $30 million toward the Kern County project.

"This federal and state partnership represents a win-win for California, and could not have happened without the leadership of Gov. (Arnold) Schwarzenegger and all five of the CPUC commissioners led by President Michael Peevey," said Jonathan Brigg of Hydrogen Energy International.

The company takes petroleum coke, coal, or blends of each, combined with non-potable water and converts them into hydrogen, a clean-burning gas, and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen gas will be used to fuel a 250-megawatt power station, and the carbon dioxide will be stored in oil reservoirs.


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