• Fidelis New Energy set to go ahead with huge blue hydrogen and data centres in West Virginia

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has announced that Fidelis New Energy will build the ‘Mountaineer GigaSystem’ and ‘Monarch Cloud Campus’ in Mason County, in the west of the state.

The Mountaineer GigaSystem is a “lifecycle carbon neutral clean hydrogen facility and microgrid”, with four separate trains to come online in phases, each producing 500 metric tonnes of H2 per day, and each equipped with carbon capture, utilisation and storage technology. Use of the product is envisaged as being for “carbon neutral hyperscale data centres”, as well as for transportation, greenhouses, and steel production.

Partners in the project include the State of West Virginia, West Virginia University, Babcock and Wilcox, and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. Each phase is expected to cost US$2 billion, excluding investments in data centres and greenhouses and the like; the first phase is expected to become operational in 2028. The Monarch Cloud Campus will be adjacent to the GigaSystem, and offer 1,000 MW of capacity as a “hyperscale data centre complex”, cooling the centre “without utilizing off-site indirect carbon offsets or credits”. Greenhouses will also be built on site so that CO2 and waste heat from the blue hydrogen production process can be reused.

Siting the two projects together makes a lot of sense in being able to utilise some of the byproducts of the hydrogen production, but the focus on datacentres is also a smart one, given that many technology companies have highly ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, as well as the money to fund them.