Magnum seeks OK for new hydrogen project Includes New Kern River Pipeline

11/9/2020

(Houston, TX) Millard County planning and zoning commissioners will consider a $350 million expansion of Magnum’s master-planned energy industrial complex north of Delta when they meet this week.

An existing permit already allows Magnum to develop solar electrical generation as well as compressed air energy storage operations at its current location near the Intermountain Power Plant.

Now the company wants to expand the boundaries of that project in partnership with global energy company Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) to develop green hydrogen production and storage facilities and related enterprises as part of the company’s vision for a Western Energy Hub located here.

Earlier this year the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) contracted with Mitsubishi for two advanced gas turbines, capable of burning a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen to produce electricity, part of a long-term plan to convert the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) coal fired units into a cleaner burning power producer.

IPA envisions eventually transitioning IPP to 100-percent carbon-free renewable hydrogen by 2045. Magnum’s success is said to be pivotal to that effort.

Called the ACES Delta Project—ACES stands for Advanced Clean Energy Storage—Magnum and Mitsubishi want to build the first phase in what will likely be a 10-year development to eventually include up to 15 gas storage caverns, up to four compressed air energy storage units, up to 1,400 acres of solar generation, up to 10 electrolyzers used to make hydrogen, large brine evaporative ponds and monitoring wells, as well as multiple transport and operations facilities.

“At this time, Magnum and Mitsubishi anticipate the first ACES Delta Project to be constructed under the amended CUP will be the green hydrogen generation and storage business. This is due to the strong interest in the energy industry to use green hydrogen as a carbon- free fuel additive to natural gas for use in electric generation and as a standalone fuel source for hydrogen fuel cells in both commercial and personal transportation sectors,” Magnum’s proposed CUP amendment application states. “The core build out of this business is anticipated to be completed in three phases over the next 10 years with construction of the first phase starting in early 2021.”

The hydrogen Magnum proposes to produce will be considered “green” hydrogen because the business plans to power its hydrogen-producing electrolyzers using renewable solar and wind energy.

Water can be electrolytically converted to hydrogen and oxygen in a process first developed for industrial purposes in the 1940s. Magnum’s application states it already owns the requisite water rights for the project.

“Magnum and Mitsubishi anticipate up to 15 ventilated shelters will be installed in the next 10 years and each shelter will house multiple electrolyzers. The electrolyzers will be paired with up to 15 storage caverns each anticipated to store 150,000 MWh of energy in the form of green hydrogen,” the CUP amendment application states.

The company has not yet settled on a final engineering design for the electrolyzers it plans to build. While the company’s first phase is predicted to be valued at about $350 million, the overall valuation of the project won’t be known until overall build out is complete, the company reports.

Planning commissioners are expected to recommend approval of Magnum’s CUP amendment to county commissioners, who will review the project at a future meeting.

Meanwhile, in other energy developments in Millard County, the Kern River Gas Transmission Company last week hosted two open houses, one in Delta and another in Holden, as part of a proposed application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a 36-mile, 24-inch natural gas pipeline from Holden to IPP.

The Delta Lateral Project, as the pipeline is called, would supply IPP fuel when it transitions to natural gas electricity transmission in 2025.

Kern River anticipates starting construction on the new gas line in spring 2023, completing the project in May 2024.

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