PDC Machines supplies compressors to Constellation plant
By Keefe Borden15 March 2023
PDC Machines has supplied compressors for Constellation Energy’s 1 MW demonstration scale, nuclear-powered clean hydrogen production facility.
Earlier this month, Constellation announced it started hydrogen production at its Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant in Oswego, New York, a development it said will help demonstrate the potential for hydrogen to power a clean economy.
When produced at scale, clean hydrogen can be used to make next-generation energy for otherwise hard-to-decarbonize industries like aviation, long haul transportation, steelmaking and agriculture. Last year, the US Department of Energy (DOE) approved moving forward with construction and installation of an electrolyzer system at Nine Mile Point with an award of $5.8 million, Constellation announced.
“Hydrogen will be an indispensable tool in solving the climate crisis, and Nine Mile Point is going to show the world that nuclear power is the most efficient and cost-effective way to make it from a carbon-free resource,” said Joe Dominguez, president and CEO of Constellation. “In partnership with DOE and others, we see this technology creating a pathway to decarbonizing industries that remain heavily reliant on fossil fuels, while creating clean-energy jobs and strengthening domestic energy security.”
The clean Hydrogen Generation System operating at Nine Mile Point uses 1.25 megawatt of zero-carbon energy per hour to produce 560 kilograms of clean hydrogen per day, more than enough to meet the plant’s operational hydrogen use. It will also help set the stage for possible large-scale deployments at other clean energy centers in Constellation’s fleet that would couple clean hydrogen production with storage and other on-site uses.
As part of its broader decarbonization strategy, Constellation said it is working with public and private entities representing every phase in the hydrogen value chain to pursue development of regional hydrogen production and distribution hubs and has committed to invest $900 million through 2025 for commercial clean hydrogen production using nuclear energy.
This includes participation in the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2), Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub and Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub, all of which are exploring projects to develop hydrogen infrastructure in collaboration with DOE.
“This accomplishment tangibly demonstrates that our nation’s existing reactor fleet can produce clean hydrogen today,” said Dr. Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy, DOE, “DOE is proud to support cost-shared projects like this to deliver affordable clean hydrogen. The investments we’re starting to make now through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act will even further expand the hydrogen market to create new economic and environmental benefits for nuclear energy.”
The Hydrogen Generation System’s Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer, manufactured by Nel Hydrogen, utilizes clean, emissions-free electricity generated at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station to separate hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water.