Green hydrogen projects proliferate in Chile, Mexico, Uruguay
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Last week, several green hydrogen projects were announced in Latin America. AES Gener wants to set up a hydrogen production facility in Chile that would require around 850 MW of renewable energy capacity. The Uruguayan government is planning a tender for a pilot hydrogen project for sustainable mobility and the Mexican authorities are reviewing a large scale PV project planned to power a 75 MW hydrogen plant.
Last week, several large scale green hydrogen projects were announced in Latin America, including a US$5.4bn green hydrogen plant under development by Australia-based hydrogen specialist Enegix Energy–a project that is expected to require 3.6 GW of wind and solar facilities and is currently the region’s largest hydrogen project.
Other developments announced simultaneously in other Latin American countries last week confirm that the region may become a global hydrogen hub thanks to its considerable solar resources, land availability, and low project costs, which also means the nascent hydrogen sector in the region may immediately gain in scale.
Chilean power provider AES Gener, a unit of U.S.-based energy company AES, announced last week a memorandum of understanding to study the viability of the first large green-hydrogen-based ammonia project in the country. The project would require the installation of up to 850 MW of renewable energy capacity.
Referring to the project, the minister of energy of Chile, Juan Carlos Jobet, said the government will continue working to promote national and international investments and thus build new poles of progress in different regions.
The minister also revealed that there are currently more than 40 projects related to green hydrogen in Chile: “When we launched the National Green Hydrogen Strategy last November, we had 20 projects to develop,” he further explained. “In just three months, we have already doubled that number and we already have more than 40 projects to produce or consume green hydrogen in Chile.”
The national strategy will contribute, according to government estimates, to the creation of some 100,000 jobs and $200 billion in investment over the next 20 years. “The numbers support us, we are the country with the best capacities to be the cheapest producer in the world by 2030,” Jobet stated. According to the ministry, Jobet has led rounds with investors from Germany, Australia, Canada, China, the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, which have been attended by more than 200 companies, investment banks, and international entities interested in investment opportunities.
Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is currently conducting an environmental impact assessment for a 58 MW solar power plant planned for green hydrogen generation.
The project, submitted by Mexican company Delicias Solar, SA de CV, is expected to rely on around 140,000 solar modules and power a 75 MW hydrogen power plant with an estimated annual production of 4,425 tons.
The project includes the construction of a substation, power line transmission line and internal roads for a total area of 166.22ha, of which 121.75ha correspond to the photovoltaic plant, 32.86ha to the interconnection lines (LT1 and LT2), 6.57ha to the facilities of the green hydrogen generation plant and 5.04ha to the access roads located in the municipality of San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato.
In recent months, the North American country saw the launch of the new industry body Mexican Hydrogen Association, whose founder is Israel Hurtado, who has previously been the general secretary of the Mexican PV association, Asolmex. According to him, the country needs a national strategy for hydrogen.
“The strategy must go hand in hand with the government, private initiative, industry, and academic institutions,” he told pv magazine. “In Germany, France, Australia, and Chile, there are considerable advances, and this is where we must go, and I don’t know if this is going to take us six months, a year, or three years, but towards that point we must work.”
Uruguay will receive $10 million from the United Nations Joint Fund for Sustainable Development Goals, to develop green hydrogen projects.
The funds were secured by the country’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM), through its National Energy Directorate (DNE) and will be complemented with financing from other entities—among them, multilateral organizations that have already pledged their collaboration—to reach a total amount of $70 million.
The money will be utilized, among other things, for the Verne Project–a pilot project for the electrification of transport through green hydrogen production–being developed by Uruguay’s National Administration of Fuels, Alcohols and Portland, Uruguayan power utility UTE, and the MIEM itself.
The project foresees the setting up of green hydrogen production using a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer with a capacity of 500 kg/day and a charging station in Montevideo.
The three entities also received financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank and the German Corporation for International Cooperation.
Source: PV Magazine
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