The Niagara Hydrogen Centre Could Make Niagara One of Canada's Largest Green Energy Hubs

Ontario's first large-scale hydrogen production facility will be set up in Niagara. The Niagara Hydrogen Centre will use a 20-megawatt electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen. It was selected based on different studies that looked into green hydrogen production's technical and economic viability.

The announcement was part of the province’s release of its hydrogen strategy. Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith and Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks David Piccini announced the strategy at an event that was organized recently in Niagara Falls.

The provincial government supports the project and will be providing an exemption from the Gross Revenue Charge from 2024 to 2033 for electricity generated at the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station. It is used specifically for hydrogen production under some conditions. Atura Power is completing preliminary steps for this electrolyzer facility to support a final investment decision that is expected to come by summer 2022.

For those unaware, Atura Power is a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation. It plays a vital role in the province’s electricity system. It already has plants in Halton Hills, Napanee, Toronto, and Windsor. The company's fleet of combined-cycle plants is flexible and dispatchable, enabling renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Pending federal funding, the new hydrogen center could be commissioned by early 2024.

Chris Fralick, President of Atura Power, stated, "Ontario is building a hydrogen economy, and Atura Power is ready to play a key role in helping establish a supply of this low carbon fuel. Supply of hydrogen produced by Atura Power will enable heavy emitting industries and transport to plan their transition to lower-carbon fuels. We look forward to working with our partners and industry leaders to help advance this clean technology, bringing the Niagara region to the forefront of the clean energy and hydrogen economy."

He added Niagara could be one of Canada's "largest green-energy hubs" and mentioned hydrogen will be "an important tool in the fight against climate change." He also said, "Large-scale hydroelectric power generation in Ontario was born here 100 years ago, and it is only fitting that we would be looking here again as the place to usher in large-scale hydrogen production for a new clean-energy source in the 21st century."

Minister Smith said, "Through our Hydrogen Strategy, we are leveraging our Province's world-class talent and clean energy advantage as we position Ontario as a world leader in hydrogen. When energy is clean, reliable, and affordable, our whole province benefits. I look forward to working with all our partners to build critical infrastructure for the industries of the future, including new hydrogen production projects that will create good-paying jobs, grow our economy, and reduce emissions."

Niagara Region Chair Jim Bradley said, "Projects of this kind are a clear demonstration that, in fact, when you are protecting the environment, you can also generate a lot of economic activity and development."

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates stated via an email statement that the project is "an important step forward" as the province moves towards cleaner energy production. Gates added, "Protecting our environment and tackling climate change is essential for our future. I'd like to thank all those involved at Atura and OPG for taking this first step in the right direction."



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