WVPA Sharing

‘Let’s reinvent’: Omnis co-owner talks big hydrogen game for Pleasants Power Station

By Mike Tony [email protected]

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia Public Energy Authority members got a high level of hydrogen-fueled optimism about a Pleasants County coal-fired plant’s future at their monthly meeting Thursday.

Simon Hodson, co-owner of a parent company of Santa Barbara, California-based Omnis Fuel Technologies, whose affiliate bought the Pleasants Power Station last month, promised the plant would prove to be a prime example of what he called the “new hydrogen economy.”

“It’s what I call a bipartisan technology,” Hodson told a receptive authority board.

Hodson estimated a company investment of $800 million to $1 billion to retrofit the four-decade-plus-old power plant and build a new hydrogen facility on adjacent property. Hodson indicated that Omnis is “in the process of buying” 30 acres next to the plant for the new hydrogen facility.

Omnis Fuel Technologies President Richard Hulme said in a phone interview last month that Omnis was talking with FirstEnergy subsidiary Mon Power and Solvay, a global chemical company, to acquire property adjacent to the power plant.

The Pleasants plant, which began operating in 1979, had been inactive in recent months as sale negotiations ramped up.

But Hodson noted the plant is generating coal-fired power, going back online in the PJM regional transmission grid late last month.

Hodson predicted Omnis would purchase nearly three times as much coal as has been previously procured for the plant once it begins running on hydrogen.

Omnis intends to have the Pleasants plant run coal-fired for the next 12 to 24 months while it’s retrofitted and a hydrogen production facility is constructed, Hulme said last month.

Hodson’s plan is to install technology to convert coal to hydrogen through an ultra-high-heat process that doesn’t burn the coal.

Instead, hydrogen produced by vaporizing coal particles at high heat — around 3,000 degrees Celsius — will be piped into the power plant, with electricity generated from burning the hydrogen. …

Read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/lets-reinvent-omnis-head-talks-big-hydrogen-game-for-pleasants-power-station/article_6ceeca04-429a-5060-81c5-0d83fef1fbd3.html?utm_source=wvgazettemail.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fwvamupdate%2F%3F-dc%3D1694165410&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address