LONG BEACH, Calif. and HAYDENVILLE, Mass. (August 18, 2020) — As part of a nationwide movement by cities and counties to generate their own clean, locally-sourced power, renewable hydrogen producer Ways2H and municipal energy consultancy Local Power announced a partnership to integrate a new power source, onsite renewable hydrogen, into the mix for community microgrids. The move reflects an evolution of Local Power’s Community Choice Aggregation blueprint for community-based microgrids, including solar with storage, and now adding hydrogen derived from a community’s post-consumer waste. Together these innovative technologies will decarbonize and strengthen a community’s resiliency.
About 1,500 U.S. municipalities representing 30 million Americans provide Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) service and many are looking for new sources of local, affordable, reliable, renewable, resilient electricity generation to supply their communities. Local Power and Ways2H will meet the demand for local, clean power with advanced microgrids that will be powered by zero-emission renewable hydrogen-fueled generators, solar power, and battery storage. In addition to local clean power generation, the projects also will include sustainable waste disposal through Ways2H’s hydrogen production facilities, which use waste — MSW, plastic, wastewater sludge, medical waste and more — as a feedstock.
“Our goal is to help local governments build affordable renewable energy microgrids to power their communities and critical infrastructure, from hospitals to schools, energy-critical businesses and resilience hubs for residents regardless of utility blackouts,” said Local Power Founder and President Paul Fenn, who pioneered the CCA model that has spread across the United States in the past decade, and municipal Green Bond financing, now a trillion-dollar global industry. “We’re tying together key components of the climate problem — energy, decarbonization and resiliency — and removing grid barriers to deployment of local energy generation.”
Renewable hydrogen-fueled microgrids will help local governments reach their climate and renewable energy goals and reduce the cost of resiliency by maximizing and diversifying energy storage at the neighborhood level. Local Power’s business model is centered on facilitating widespread voluntary investment by customers in onsite community microgrids that will serve them daily and during utility grid blackouts due to extreme weather, wildfires and powerful storms, or utility power shut-offs aimed at preventing wildfires. Using locally generated waste to produce clean hydrogen for the microgrid will further reduce the costs municipalities incur for waste disposal.
Local Power and Ways2H will support customers’ use of municipal Green Bonds or other financing options for the projects, which will generate income without the need to sell power to the local utility.
“We are bringing an integrated approach and a concrete, implementable solution that we believe many municipalities are looking for, as they seek access to technology and resilience they currently don’t have,” said Ways2H CEO Jean-Louis Kindler. “Our waste-to-hydrogen production units are modular, transportable and easily installed onsite, close to where waste is produced and where hydrogen fuel is needed for distributed power generation, as well as mobility.”
Local government CCAs are active in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Virginia, with CCA legislation pending in Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico and Oregon.