Utah Town to Pioneer Underground Hydrogen Fuel Storage as Clean Energy Solution
Utah Town to Pioneer Underground Hydrogen Fuel Storage as Clean Energy Solution.
In the heartland of Utah, a small town named Delta is on the cusp of a clean energy revolution. This revolution is not in the form of wind turbines or solar panels but rather in colossal caverns, each as tall as the Empire State Building, repurposed from geological salt formations. This innovative approach to energy storage, dubbed as the ‘massive underground battery’, is set to redefine the landscape of carbon-free energy usage.
Transforming Salt Caverns into Carbon-Free Batteries
The project’s core centers around the storage of hydrogen fuel in these enormous caverns. The caverns are prepared for this novel usage by dissolving the salt with water, creating a suitable environment for storing hydrogen in its gaseous form. This monumental concept not only repurposes the geological formations but also provides a solution for the reliable storage and usage of clean energy.
Chevron’s Stake and the Transition to Green Hydrogen
Energy giant, Chevron, has acquired a majority stake in one of the two projects in this innovative venture. The stored hydrogen, predominantly generated from excess electricity produced by solar and wind farms during times of low demand, will later be converted back to electricity in periods of high demand. This approach underscores the transition towards green hydrogen fuel production, moving away from conventional fossil fuel-based methods that result in carbon dioxide emissions.
Building the Future: A New Power Plant
A new power plant is being erected to replace an old coal-fired plant in the vicinity. The plan is to initially use a blend of hydrogen and natural gas for electricity production. However, the ultimate goal is to achieve emission-free electricity generation solely using hydrogen by 2045. The $2 billion construction of this new plant is expected to be completed by 2025. The plant’s first of 40 electrolyzers, which will split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable energy, has already been delivered.