ABB to electrify two plants & produce 60 tons of green hydrogen daily

March 10, 2022
Goal is to replace some 170 tons of fossil fuels in logistics and transportation sector.

ABB has been awarded two major contracts by Plug Power Inc., a provider of turnkey solutions for the global green-hydrogen economy, to provide the electrical systems for two new hydrogen plants in North America, set to collectively produce 60 tons of green hydrogen per day, they claim. Green hydrogen is produced with renewable-energy sources and emits zero carbon when used as fuel. 

The first plant, ProjectGateway, in Genesee County, New York, will be North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility, providing the northeastern US daily with 45 metric tons of green liquid hydrogen, which contains as much energy as 126 tons of gasoline and equates to 14,000 tons of CO2 per year, the partners note.

ABB says it will provide the full electrical system encased in an ABB eHouse solution—a prefabricated, walk-in, modular outdoor substation hosting a range of electrical, automation and ancillary equipment that provides the site and process power. ABB’s prefabricated and pre-tested solution reduces both the costs and time needed for installation and commissioning. 

ABB will also supply gas and air-insulated switchgear, low-voltage motor-control centers, along with low-voltage variable speed drives for auxiliary applications. Medium-voltage VSDs will be applied to multiple motors in sync-bypass mode. Used as compressor starters, these drives promise smooth process control, and reduce stress to equipment and utility loads by limiting inrush current and power-demand during the process start.

The plant will use Plug Power’s proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through an electrochemical process, using clean New York hydropower. 

With a similar scope of work, Plug Power’s second plant, Peachtree, in Camden County, Georgia, aims to produce 15 tons of liquid green hydrogen per day using 100% renewable energy, serving customers in the southeastern US.

The hydrogen produced will be used for logistics and transportation sectors, enabling users to replace fossil fuels in on-road applications such as heavy-duty freight vehicles and forklifts.

“Plug Power’s investment in both the Project Gateway and Peachtree facilities shows our commitment to the region, our customers, and the future world we want to live in,” said Sanjay Shrestha, general manager of energy solutions and chief strategy officer of Plug Power. “ABB showed the focus, understanding and expertise to execute a successful project, and we look forward to collaborating on driving the broader hydrogen economy.”

“Green hydrogen will only become a widespread clean energy carrier if industry can scale up technologies and bring the overall production costs down,” said Brandon Spencer, president, ABB Energy Industries. “ABB’s goal is to help make hydrogen accessible as quickly and cost-effectively as possible to meet the growing global demand. We are proud to collaborate with Plug Power on their vision to build a resilient hydrogen ecosystem across North America.”