Monthly Archives: November 2010

How does hydrogen energy generation compare to renewable energy sources such as wind?

The HECA project will generate clean low-carbon electricity by transforming fossil fuels into clean hydrogen that provides reliable, ongoing energy to the grid. Renewables such as wind or solar typically produce intermittent electricity that is available approximately one third of the time. Since our society’s demand for energy is constant, we can only rely so…

What exactly is a ‘hydrogen energy’ project?

Most electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a greenhouse gas that is widely accepted as responsible for climate change. HECA sets itself apart by creating electricity without any fossil fuel combustion. The project will convert coal and petroleum coke into CO2 and…

The largest growth in coal-fired power generation is expected to come in China – surely that is where your hydrogen power projects would be best put?

California has shown leadership in addressing the climate change issue and is a fitting location for the HECA project which would prove the application of the hydrogen power and carbon capture and storage concept to solid fuels, such as petcoke or coal. There are also very compelling economic development reasons for building this high tech…

What are the implications for the coal industry as a result of this project using petcoke?

Petcoke is a synthetic product similar to coal so the technology used here will be very similar to the gasification of coal, so the lessons learned in this project will also be relevant for coal.  Demonstrating capture and storage of approximately 90% of the carbon in coal in combination with industrial scale power generation would…

What can governments do to help with hydrogen energy projects?

Because of its importance to the U.S. as an alternative energy project of the future, HECA is co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, and administered by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. The project is supported in part by a $408 million grant that was competitively awarded to HECA in recognition…

Do you think the public will be willing to pay higher prices for electricity generated by hydrogen? Do you think the public will support HECA?

We believe that the public officials and the general public are increasingly becoming aware of the significant issues surrounding climate change and the costs and benefits of taking precautionary action through a range of approaches. The public already pays for programs that stimulate the provision of cleaner electricity from renewables, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency…

Why do we need a new power plant? Why can’t we just buy this electricity from somewhere else?

We have the opportunity to create clean electricity here. We can take advantage of existing refinery operations by converting refinery waste (petroleum coke) and generating clean hydrogen power. Otherwise, in order to get much needed base load power, the state would have to encourage the construction of natural gas-powered power plants, using a commodity which…

How much increased tax revenues will go to the local area?

HECA estimates that the construction of our the facility in Kern County will result in millions of dollars in new local tax revenues during construction and then annually during operations.

Will this project provide new jobs for Kern County? … In construction? …In operation?

The HECA project will create thousands of high quality jobs during construction and hundreds of permanent jobs when fully operational in 2017. The project will provide $239 million in annual economic impact to Kern County and $52 million in annual labor income. Construction and annual plant operations will also generate tens of millions of dollars…

What kind of disruption is there going to be during construction, and for how long?

Construction will take 3 years.  This construction, however, is going to be taking place far from the residential and commercial centers of Kern County, and is not likely to be noticed by many of the region’s residents.  For those disruptions that do take place, they will be greatly offset by future benefits: (less trucking, more…