Second Biomass To Hydrogen Project Announced For California

Mote Inc. has received $1.2 million in grant funding from the U.S. Forest Service, the California Department of Conservation, and the California Department of Forestry (CAL FIRE) to establish its second biomass to hydrogen and carbon sequestration plant in partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). As Mote’s hydrogen offtake partner for the second facility in Sacramento, SMUD and Mote have been collaborating on the project development. Upon completion, the facility would produce approximately 21,000 MTPY of carbon-negative hydrogen for use in thermal power generation and transportation. The plant would also sequester over 450,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. The project can utilize up to 300,000 MTPY of forest residues and wood waste from regional forest management programs, such as those in the Sierra Nevadas. “On our path toward a sustainable future, SMUD remains dedicated to harnessing the power of our partnerships and cutting-edge technologies to create innovative green energy solutions and opportunities for the entire region,” says Lora Anguay, chief zero carbon officer at SMUD. “Through our ambitious 2030 Zero Carbon Plan and visionary leadership, we are driving positive environmental change, championing large-scale utility decarbonization, and fostering an equitable transition toward a clean energy economy and future that benefits all communities.”

Mote’s carbon-negative hydrogen solution is a first-of-a-kind model for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Similar to its first project near Bakersfield, this second plant will integrate with carbon capture and geological sequestration methods to produce carbon-negative hydrogen. Using gasification and a proprietary integration of proven technology, Mote can process woody waste from farms, forestry, and urban sources. The remaining carbon dioxide from the process is captured and permanently placed underground in saline aquifers for ecologically safe storage. The focus on carbon removal and storage sets Mote’s technology apart from other clean hydrogen projects, as Mote’s product delivers hydrogen with a producer sale price and carbon intensity score significantly lower than its competitors at -150 gCO2/MJ.

“There is a pressing need for durable, large-scale carbon removal and scalable solutions that provide low-cost, clean hydrogen in the ongoing energy transition. Mote’s technology does both. Our projects in Sacramento and Bakersfield will be the first commercial-scale projects to utilize sustainably sourced biomass for this purpose,” says Joshuah Stolaroff, CEO of Mote.

Bakersfield construction is expected to begin in 2025 and target full operational capacity by 2027. Additionally, Mote is a member of the ARCHES community and their application for the DOE’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub grant

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