New Delhi: Electric Hydrogen, a startup backed by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, plans to open its first factory for making electrolyzers in Massachusetts. The machines are a critical component of a future green hydrogen economy and produce hydrogen without emitting greenhouse gases. The company has signed a lease for a partially built facility in Devens, located northwest of Boston, to house the factory, which will be a US$90 million private investment and is expected to be commissioned late this year. Electric Hydrogen aims to begin shipping electrolyzers in mid-2024.
When powered by renewable energy, electrolyzers can produce hydrogen, which is known as “green” hydrogen. Governments worldwide are betting on green hydrogen playing a vital role in cutting emissions in industries such as cement manufacturing and steelmaking that cannot easily switch to running on electricity due to their reliance on carbon-intensive fuels. Today, the majority of hydrogen produced is stripped from natural gas in a process that emits carbon dioxide, but that is expected to change.
Last year’s federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) triggered a surge in clean-energy manufacturing projects planned across the US. Although Electric Hydrogen is not receiving any federal loans or grants for its plant, the IRA’s US$3 per kilogramme tax credit for green hydrogen is catalysing interest in ramping up production. Electric Hydrogen co-founder and CEO Raffi Garabedian said that the company is building ahead of the market, anticipating that the market will be real.