As one of Canada’s first “green” hydrogen (H2) producers, IEPS is proposing to build the Kitsim H2 Project, a green hydrogen production facility located southwest of Brooks, Alberta, Canada. The Kitsim H2 Project is specifically designed to assist Alberta’s fertilizer and petrochemical industries to economically meet increasingly stringent Albertan and Canadian carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards.
The resulting 99% pure H2 gas produced by the centrally located generation facility will, in turn, be compressed and shipped, initially by truck and eventually by pipeline, to southern Alberta’s nearby and rapidly growing industrial markets. The first phase of the Kitsim H2 Project, once operational in early 2023, will safely and economically produce approximately 2,100 tonnes of green H2 annually. At its full design capacity, the Kitsim H2 Project will by 2029 be able to produce over 51,000 tonnes of green H2 a year.
The current reliance by Alberta industries on Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) to produce H2, while economic at current natural gas prices, also produces significant amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). While CCUS can be used to reduce CO2 emissions from SMRs and convert “grey H2” to “blue H2”, this represents an incremental cost that will reduce but may not eliminate CO2 emissions.
Electrolyzer technology, on the other hand, is inherently scalable, can start and stop in a matter of minutes, and only produces H2 and O2; there are no other emissions from the process. The technology is reliable, proven and ongoing advances have materially improved electrolyzer economics.
Alberta, already a world-class energy hub, offers several unique features that make electrolytically generated green H2 economically attractive. These include:
IEPS is proposing to build the Kitsim H2 Project in southeastern Alberta, within the County of Newell, near the Hamlet of Bow City, south-west of the City of Brooks. This location was specifically chosen because it is centrally located between several major markets and because it offers an optimum combination of all the key components of a successful renewable hydrogen production project.
The Project is currently expected to be developed in several phases designed to accommodate a range of market growth rates and take advantage of rapid reductions in electrolyzer technology costs.
The initial phase will produce approximately 2,100 tonnes of H2 annually while each subsequent phase is currently planned to produce just over 16,000 tonnes of green H2 per year for total production rate of approximately 51,00 tonnes annually at full build out.
Ensuring the safety of employees, contractors and the public is IEPS’s highest priority! H2 generation facilities routinely generate public concerns regarding safety and working safely with H2 requires a commitment to following safe practices and attention to details. H2 like all other fuels, has some degree of danger associated with its production, storage and transportation and must be managed with care.
The ability to purchase adequate amounts of electrical power at an acceptable price is critical to the success of any green H2 project. This is possible in Alberta due to the province’s large supply renewable electrical power and its unique competitive generation market where electrical power is sold and purchased on an hourly basis. For Phase 1, the Kitsim H2 Project intends to purchase much of its electrical power “off-peak” (i.e., from 9 PM to 8 AM and on weekends). Based on historical data, more than adequate electrical power is available during these time periods at a significant discount to average daily prices.
Water supply for the Project will be provided from the Bow River under a long-term licence. The annual water demand for the initial Project phase will be approximately 35,000 m3 (28 AcFt). At full 450 MW production rates, the total Project water consumption will increase to 880,000 m3 (713 AcFt) annually.
IEPS has examined several options for both the near- and longer-term transportation of H2 from the facility to potential customers since the proposed site sits in a central position relative to several potential markets within 150 km. Options examined have included the use of both pipelines and roads (trucks) as well as newer H2 specific technologies.
IEPS currently expects that between 25 -29 months will be required, once internal approval to proceed is received, to advance the project through design, construction, commissioning and into operations.