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Clean Hydrogen Production, Carbon Capture Project Coming to W.Va.

A clean hydrogen production facility with carbon capture and sequestration was recently announced to be built in West Virginia as part of the state’s broader effort to attract federal clean hydrogen hub funding.

Fidelis New Energy of Houston announced a $2 billion investment for the Mountaineer GigaSystem project on 1,000 acres along the Ohio River in Mason County. The project would be built in four phases, with each producing more than 500 metric tons per day of hydrogen. The hydrogen produced would power the planned Monarch Cloud Campus large-scale data centers within the Mountaineer site and additional acreage within Mason County.

Fully built out, the data center capacity could reach 1,000 MW, representing over $5 billion in additional investment. The hydrogen will also be used for other purposes, including greenhouses, transportation, and steel production. The project is expected to create 800 full-time jobs and 4,200 jobs during construction.

The hydrogen will be produced with natural gas from the Marcellus shale, with the resulting carbon dioxide emissions captured and stored underground.

A state incentive package will allow the company to do the required additional geological evaluation for carbon capture and storage in order to obtain permits for emerging technology. The state and Fidelis also have reached an operating agreement “which determines the terms for the targeted storage capacity and the pore space agreement establishing exclusive rights for CCS in certain areas,” a governor’s office press release said. The Associated Press reported that the company will store CO2 underground in state forests, wildlife management areas, and other state properties.

When all four phases of the Mountaineer GigaSystem are operational, approximately 10 million metric tons per year of CO2 would be permanently stored, providing over $100 million in annual revenue to the state or approximately $25 million per phase each year.

“We are proud to have selected West Virginia as home to the Mountaineer GigaSystem where it can serve as a major anchor and support for the broader ARCH2 Hydrogen Hub,” Pete Hollis, Senior Vice President and Global Head of CCUS of Fidelis said in the release.

ARCH2 is an acronym for the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, a coalition of state governments and businesses, which is seeking a portion of $7 billion in federal funding for the development of six to 10 clean hydrogen hubs across the country. There are at least two groups in the Appalachian region seeking funding for the development of a clean hydrogen hub. The Decarbonization Network of Appalachia hydrogen hub (DNA H2 Hub) project, led by Team Pennsylvania Foundation and backed by state leaders, is also seeking funding. The successful proposals are expected to be announced later this year by the Department of Energy.

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