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April 10, 2024

Electric Hydrogen receives $18.4M in tax credits as company prepares to open Devens factory

A man and a woman examine equipment Photo | Courtesy of Electric Hydrogen David Eaglesham (right), founder and chief technology officer at Electric Hydrogen, examines lab work being done at Electric Hydrogen.

Electric Hydrogen, a Natick-based company constructing a factory in Devens that will build electrolyzer stacks used to produce green hydrogen, has received $18.4 million in federal tax credits from the U.S. Department of Energy to assist with the buildout and activation of the plant. 

This round of funding, announced in a press release issued April 1, is the latest financial boost for the company. Electric Hydrogen received $46.3 million in federal grants in March, weeks after the company announced a $50-million private financing raise

The U.S. Department of Energy credits, combined with the other federal and private funds, will assist the company to begin production at the facility faster, said Jason Mortimer, Electric Hydrogen’s senior vice president of global sales.

“Production is going to begin momentarily in quarter two,” he said. “When fully ramped it’ll be among the largest electrolyzer manufacturing facilities on the continent, and none too late, because we need green hydrogen to get cheaper fast in order to fight climate change.”

Current hydrogen production methods involve the reformation of natural gas, something producing large amounts of carbon dioxide pollution, said Mortimer. Green hydrogen production involves using electrolysis to break down water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, giving plastic, concrete, fertilizer, and other industries using hydrogen a cleaner source of the molecule.

These types of heavy industries are responsible for 22% of global emissions and are considered some of the most difficult sectors for achieving net zero emissions, according to Oxford Net Zero, a climate-focused interdisciplinary research initiative based at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The electrolyzer stacks produced in Devens will be utilized at Electric Hydrogen’s facility in Beaumont, Texas. That facility will be capable of producing up to 50 tons of clean hydrogen per day. 

This will make the Texas facility one of the largest clean hydrogen production facilities in the Western Hemisphere, but given the large amount of interest in this technology, Mortimer expects this number to quickly be eclipsed by other new facilities.

The federal interest and investment in this technology is a result of a desire to come up with solutions to fight climate change while keeping America competitive with the rest of the global economy, Mortimer said.

“We learned a bit of a lesson in wind and solar, where American ingenuity was eclipsed by Chinese manufacturing prowess and price,” he said. “There certainly are initiatives in these programs that are designed to keep American technology and manufacturing competitive.”

Mortimer expects the facility to create about 100 jobs and have a knock-on effect for the local economy. While the company did receive some financial incentives from the state government, he said the main reason that Electric Hydrogen chose to locate the plant in Massachusetts was the availability of quality labor.

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