Nikola, TC Energy sign development agreement for hydrogen hubs
By Chad Elmore07 October 2021
Joint development of hydrogen production hubs is intended to support Nikola’s fuel supply and TC Energy customers’ needs in North America.
Nikola Corp., a developer and manufacturer of zero-emissions transportation and energy infrastructure solutions, and TC Energy Corp., a North American energy infrastructure company, have agreed to collaborate on co-developing, constructing, operating and owning large-scale hydrogen production facilities (hubs) in the United States and Canada.
Nikola’s Energy business unit and TC Energy are actively collaborating to identify and develop projects to establish the infrastructure required to deliver low-cost and low-carbon hydrogen at scale in line with each company’s core objectives. Furthermore, the companies desire to accelerate the adoption of heavy-duty zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen across industrial sectors by establishing hubs in key geographic locations.
A key objective of the collaboration is to establish hubs producing 150 tonnes or more of hydrogen per day near highly traveled truck corridors to serve Nikola’s planned need for hydrogen to fuel its Class 8 FCEVs within the next five years. TC Energy has significant pipeline, storage and power assets that potentially can be leveraged to lower the cost and increase the speed of delivery of these hydrogen production hubs. This may include exploring the integration of midstream assets to enable hydrogen distribution and storage via pipeline and/or to deliver CO2 to permanent sequestration sites to decarbonize the hydrogen production process.
“We are excited to have a strategic partnership with a North American energy leader focused on delivering low-carbon and hydrogen-based energy solutions,” said Nikola President, Energy and Commercial Pablo Koziner. “This collaboration with TC Energy is intended to enable the production of hydrogen at quantities and costs that are required to support customer adoption and use of FCEVs. TC Energy also offers pipeline distribution capabilities that will be essential for cost-efficient movement of hydrogen in the future. Today marks a major step by Nikola in accordance with its stated energy strategy for the provision of hydrogen fuel solutions to future Nikola FCEV customers and to public network fueling stations.”
Both Nikola and TC Energy have said they are committed to reducing the carbon intensity (CI) of hydrogen produced and delivered to end-use markets utilizing renewable energy, as well as low-cost natural gas, renewable natural gas and biomass feedstocks paired with carbon capture and storage. Nikola and TC Energy are aligned in a technology agnostic approach to find the best pathway to hydrogen production for each unique geography that is intended to result in the lowest CI and a clear pathway to achieve net-zero CI over time.
“By leveraging our natural gas and power operations footprint, we see this new partnership as an important first step in facilitating access to affordable low-carbon production of hydrogen for the transportation and industrial sector,” said Corey Hessen, TC Energy’s senior vice president and president, Power and Storage. “TC Energy is focused on our own decarbonization efforts as well as being the provider of choice for carbon-free energy to the North American industrial, natural gas and oil sectors. Nikola as a partner and as a customer aligns well with that approach.”
Nikola and TC Energy will evaluate opportunities to optimize excess hub supplies to third parties under a joint marketing and services arrangement.