07 May 2020

Douglas County PUD Moves forward with Plans for Green Hydrogen

07 May 2020  by Joanna Sampson   

Douglas County Public Utility District (Douglas County PUD) is pushing ahead with plans to provide green hydrogen for Washington State at an attractive price as it purchases a PEM electrolyser from Cummins/Hydrogenics.

Believed to be the first megawatt-scale electrolyser in the Northwestern US, the PEM electrolyser is part of the initial 5MW project to be located in an industrial area north of East Wenatchee.

The project is proceeding with a ‘request for qualifications’ from professional engineering firms with experience in the area of hydrogen electrolysers and their facilities, particularly with respect to safety, codes and standards.

The project is a result of the passage of SB 5588 in Washington last year authorising public utility districts to make and sell hydrogen

“By virtue of the bill, one of our members, Douglas County PUD, is in the process of purchasing what I believe to be the first megawatt-scale electrolyser in the Northwestern US, certainly the only one dedicated to producing hydrogen from a renewable resource,” Ken Dragoon, Executive Director of the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance, told H2 View recently.

“This is really a groundbreaking event. Utilities normally must hold back some of the generating capability to ramp up generation quickly in the event of a system outage—so-called ‘contingency reserves’.”

“Douglas is planning to use their electrolyser for that purpose: instead of ramping up generation, they will drop the electrolyser load to provide that service.”

“This has significant value to the utility, essentially freeing up a megawatt of hydropower generating capacity for each megawatt of interruptible electrolyser load they add.”

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