Mitsubishi Power Americas Inc., and Texas Brine Company LLC have signed an agreement on May 12 to develop large-scale long-duration hydrogen storage solutions to support decarbonization efforts across the eastern United States. Long-duration hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the transition to a net zero carbon energy future.
This collaboration expands Mitsubishi Power’s capability to store hydrogen safely and cost effectively in salt caverns in strategic locations across North America. The nation’s largest brine producer, Texas Brine and its affiliates have salt positions in New York, Virginia, Texas and Louisiana that will enable access to major load centers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Gulf Coast.
Salt deposits are unique geological features into which caverns can be solution mined to provide safe, reliable and economical bulk gas storage. Hydrogen has been stored in salt caverns for decades in the U.S. Gulf Coast. Expanding the use of salt caverns for hydrogen energy storage in other regions offers a significant opportunity to create an infrastructure for clean energy resources throughout the U.S. to benefit industries such as power, transportation and manufacturing that are targeting net zero carbon emissions.
The Texas Brine collaboration complements Mitsubishi Power’s growing portfolio of hydrogen-ready gas turbines by positioning large-scale hydrogen storage in close proximity to projects, enabling access to economical utility-scale renewable energy storage.
Mitsubishi Power’s collaboration with Texas Brine provides other symbiotic benefits. Brine, a mixture of salt and water, is produced during the solution mining of salt formations. It can then be used as a critical feedstock for the chemical industry, or it can be dehydrated to produce salt for food, deicing, agricultural, industrial, and water softening markets. The coproduct of the solution mining process is an underground repository that can be used to store liquid or gaseous commodities, such as hydrogen. Conversely, when a salt cavern is designed and engineered specifically for the storage of hydrogen, it employs the same solution mining process, which ultimately creates a brine coproduct that can be used as a feedstock.
The alliance will initially focus on existing sites controlled by Texas Brine and its affiliates. Both companies will evaluate the opportunity for hydrogen storage in existing and new caverns, along with detailed engineering and design studies to support hydrogen storage needs. The companies will also explore greenfield applications that can benefit from hydrogen storage as well as brine and dry salt production.
“Strategic alliances that enhance collaboration across industry domains are critical for cost-effective use of resources,” Ted Grabowski, president and CEO of Texas Brine, said. “We look forward to collaborating with Mitsubishi Power to support safe and low cost storage of hydrogen across our sites in the eastern U.S. and to explore synergistic opportunities at sites in other parts of the country.”
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