Phoenix-based Nikola Corp. (Nasdaq: NKLA) says it is investing $50 million into a clean hydrogen project in Vigo County. The project, being developed by Wabash Valley Resources LLC, aims to convert solid waste byproducts into clean hydrogen for transportation fuel and electricity generation.
The overall cost of the project is not being disclosed. WVR says in exchange for the investment, Nikola will receive a 20% equity interest in the project.
Nikola manufactures zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, as well as hydrogen station infrastructure. The developer says the project is expected to give Nikola the ability to offtake about 50 tons of hydrogen per day to supply is future dispensing stations within a 300-mile radius.
“We intend this project to produce clean, low cost hydrogen in a critical geography for commercial transportation,” Pablo Koziner, president of energy and commercial for Nikola, said in a news release. “The Wabash solution can generate electricity as well as hydrogen transportation fuel, which should provide the flexibility to support future truck sales and hydrogen station rollout in the region. The expected efficiency of WVR’s clean hydrogen production should allow Nikola’s bundled truck lease, including fuel, service, and maintenance, to compete favorably with diesel.”
WVR says the facility will have the ability to produce up to 336 tons of hydrogen per day, which would be enough to generate about 285 megawatts of clean electricity. The project is expected to create 125 full-time jobs.
“WVR is developing a multi-product facility, where the hydrogen can be combusted in a turbine to produce clean baseload power,” said Simon Greenshields, chairman of the board for WVR. “The recent spate of power outages serves as a reminder that the market has a pressing need for a non-intermittent source of clean energy. We also look forward to working with Nikola to bring zero-emission transportation solutions to the Midwest.”
Construction on the facility is slated to begin in early 2022 and take about two years to complete.