The collaboration seeks to demonstrate long-term value for hydrogen production within the nuclear industry
Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) announced plans to install an electrolyzer at the Xcel Energy (NASDAQ:XEL) Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Welch, Minnesota. The installation is designed to augment existing clean energy nuclear infrastructure to create immediate and scalable pathways to produce cost-efficient, clean hydrogen, supporting the growing hydrogen economy while enhancing value for operators of zero-carbon nuclear facilities.
Bloom Energy’s electrolyzer – built on its solid oxide platform – operates at high temperatures to convert water into hydrogen. Pairing solid oxide electrolysis with nuclear energy’s technology is a preferred method of unlocking unmatched efficiencies. The high heat and steam produced by Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island facility feeds into Bloom Energy’s electrolyzer to produce zero-carbon hydrogen more efficiently than low-temperature electrolysis alternatives like polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) or alkaline. These low-temperature alternatives require roughly 40% more electricity, providing the Bloom electrolyzer an efficiency advantage that is expected to significantly drive down the cost of hydrogen production.
“Xcel Energy’s nuclear power plants already play a vital role in our energy mix, delivering clean, reliable and affordable power for our customers while avoiding hundreds of millions of tons of emissions,” said Peter Gardner, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer at Xcel Energy, a clean energy provider that serves eight Western and Midwestern states. “This project will provide a tremendous opportunity to better understand how our existing nuclear plants can contribute to the development of hydrogen technologies and build a carbon free future.”
The Prairie Island facility – one of Xcel Energy’s two nuclear power plants that produce nearly 30% of the electricity provided to its customers in the Upper Midwest – faces extreme winter weather annually, leading Xcel Energy to specifically turn to Bloom Energy for its resiliency benefits. Operating reliably and efficiently, we believe the installation will demonstrate how electrolyzers can leverage the energy output from nuclear to support hydrogen production even during harsh conditions.
“Xcel Energy has long championed what we at Bloom Energy know is true: Our net-zero future hinges on energy that’s not only clean but also resilient, accessible and affordable,” said Rick Beuttel, vice president, hydrogen business, Bloom Energy. “In today’s climate of extreme weather, fluctuating costs, and global energy insecurity, hydrogen offers unmatched potential to leverage existing infrastructure for clean, abundant energy. Combined with Xcel Energy’s nuclear infrastructure, Bloom Energy’s solid oxide platform – which offers exceptional efficiency – can help us achieve our shared goal of an accessible net-zero future through low-cost, zero-carbon hydrogen.”
Engineering for the 240 kW demonstration is currently underway, with construction expected to begin in late 2023 and power-on expected in early 2024.
For more information about Bloom Energy’s solid oxide electrolyzer and the company’s commitment to a zero-carbon future, visit: www.bloomenergy.com/bloomelectrolyzer.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “should,” “will” and “would” or the negative of these words or similar terms or expressions that concern Bloom’s expectations, strategy, priorities, plans or intentions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, Bloom’s expectations regarding the collaboration with Xcel Energy, including plans to install an electrolyzer at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, integration with nuclear infrastructure for scaling clean hydrogen generation and related efficiency gains and cost reductions, operational reliability and estimated uptime of Bloom’s electrolyzers, hydrogen production during winter or other extreme or harsh weather conditions, projected construction dates and timing of future hydrogen production and progress towards any net-zero emissions or decarbonization goals. More information on potential risks and uncertainties that may impact Bloom’s business are set forth in Bloom’s periodic reports filed with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on February 25, 2022, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2022 and June 30, 2022, filed with the SEC on May 6, 2022 and August 9, 2022, respectively, as well as subsequent reports filed with or furnished to the SEC from time to time. Bloom assumes no obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements.
About Bloom Energy
Bloom Energy empowers businesses and communities to responsibly take charge of their energy. The company’s leading solid oxide platform for distributed generation of electricity and hydrogen is changing the future of energy. Fortune 100 companies around the world turn to Bloom Energy as a trusted partner to deliver lower carbon energy today and a net-zero future. For more information, visit www.bloomenergy.com.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.