‘The hydrogen economy is here’: Nikola Corp to source hydrogen from KeyState for zero-emissions trucks


By Cara Aungst

Photo: KeyState Energy.

Nikola Corp. is partnering with a handful of hydrogen producers within the U.S. and Canada to supply hydrogen that will fuel 7,500 heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks by 2026, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb 11. The article said that one of their main suppliers in the mid-Atlantic region will be KeyState, Pennsylvania’s first carbon capture and storage project, which is being built in Clinton County.

“This news is a big step toward the clean hydrogen economy being realized,” KeyState CEO Perry Babb said in an exclusive interview with HappyValley Industry. “In most cases with clean hydrogen, the business case is very challenging. With the partnership between a clean hydrogen producer, KeyState, and a buyer, Nikola, we are one step closer to the hydrogen economy — it’s here at that point.”

Babb said that the facility will produce some of the world’s lowest-carbon, lowest-priced large-scale hydrogen for the mobility market.

“KeyState will produce over 30 million kilograms of hydrogen per year, which equates to about 30 million gallons of diesel. That would be more than enough for 900 hydrogen-powered trucks traveling 500 miles every day.”

"This news is a big step toward the clean hydrogen economy being realized."

The KeyState gas synthesis project will extract stranded gas from Marcellus Shale to manufacture hydrogen, ammonia and urea, and permanently store the resulting CO2 nearly a mile underground. The project is currently valued at $1.2 billion, with another half billion allocated for its hydrogen liquefaction facility.

In an earlier interview, Babb said that Pennsylvania was leading the charge in ushering in the hydrogen economy, and said that KeyState’s collaboration with Penn State was helping lead the way. Today he says, they are one giant step closer.

“The project will bring high-paying manufacturing jobs to Centre, Clearfield, Clinton and Cambria counties,” Babb said. “And this supply partnership with Nikola Corp. is a big step toward the clean hydrogen economy being realized.”


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