HyperSolar Tests Renewable Natural Gas at Salton Sea
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using water and solar power, today announced that it will team with Suncentrix LLC to explore the potential of deploying its technology at the Salton Sea to simultaneously produce renewable energy and address environmental problems.
The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California, encompassing 378 square miles in Imperial and Riverside counties, in the Southeastern edge of the state. In the past century, it has been used as the repository for agricultural wastewaters originating in both the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. As a sink for wastewaters, the Sea is not only degrading over time, but the surrounding area is also plagued with dust issues.
"We are delighted to undertake this important feasibility study with Suncentrix," said Tim Young, HyperSolar's CEO. "The Salton Sea offers large volumes of two of the most important commodities required by our breakthrough solar powered technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas: sunlight and organic rich water. The high concentration of organic materials from the agricultural runoff is nearly ideal for our process, and the high salinity will further enhance the efficiency of our technology."
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Steve Decker, CEO and Managing Partner of Suncentrix commented, "While it is California's largest inland water body, and an important food resource for birds migrating along the North American Flyway, the Salton Sea is in a state of decline. We intend to explore the use of the hydrogen produced by HyperSolar's novel process for the production of electricity through utility-scale hydrogen fuel cells. The benefits can be substantial. By deploying HyperSolar's reactors on the increasingly exposed sea beds around the Salton Sea, we can produce energy for regional use, improve the water quality for wild life ecosystems, and decrease the rate of water evaporation to mitigate dust problems that contribute to poor air quality in the nearby area."
Mr. Young concluded, "While the development of renewable energy is an important cause, the situation at the Salton Sea proves that the wastewater from human activities and energy consumption by human activities are highly correlated. The more energy people consume, the more wastewater is produced. It is only with a renewable energy technology, such as HyperSolar's, that sustainable renewable energy can truly be realized. We believe that once we successfully demonstrate our technology at the Salton Sea, we will have a model to utilize the organic rich waters of the world and the abundance of daily sunlight to deliver a sustainable global energy solution.”
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
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Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly