Hydrogen Production Coming To Florida!
Manufacturer Eyes Florida As Potential Site For Big Project
This is a re-post from the Orlando Business Journal
By Alex Soderstrom and Ryan Lynch – Orlando Business Journal, Apr 21, 2022
Titusville-based hydrogen energy company GenH2 Corp. aims to buy 20 acres in either Florida or Texas for a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that will create 300 jobs, CEO Cody Bateman said. GenH2 is building out a 10.5-acre headquarters at 5200 S. Washington Ave. with offices, a lab and a light manufacturing facility. The firm already committed to creating 100 jobs in Brevard County as part of an incentives agreement. GenH2 plans to mass-produce infrastructure necessary for the safe production, distribution and storage of liquid hydrogen for fuel.
Space Coast Hydrogen Energy Firm GenH2 Considers Florida for 300 New Jobs
For 12 years, Cody Bateman drove past the former Eckler’s Corvette site at 5200 S. Washington Ave. in Titusville and dreamed of operating his future company there.
Today, Bateman is the founder and CEO of GenH2 Corp., and that site is being transformed into the hydrogen fuel infrastructure firm’s headquarters.
However, that may only be the start of GenH2’s investment in the Sunshine State. GenH2’s next bit of growth will involve buying 20 acres for a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
Florida and Texas are the two states GenH2 is considering for the location of the project, which will create up to 300 jobs, Bateman told Orlando Business Journal. Central Florida, already home to GenH2’s emerging $35 million headquarters campus, would benefit even more if the company brings the facility to the Sunshine State.
Building a campus
Founded in 2020, GenH2 plans to mass-produce infrastructure necessary for the safe production, distribution and storage of liquid hydrogen for fuel. GenH2 is working with government and industry players, including the U.S. Department of Energy and British oil and gas giant Shell PLC.
GenH2’s 10.5-acre Titusville campus will include a research and development laboratory, as well as a light manufacturing facility next door where its first hydrogen storage tanks will be built. However, it’ll need a much bigger plant to meet its future goals.
A 300,000-square-foot plant wouldn’t just mean the creation of hundreds of jobs. Many of the materials GenH2 needs are not manufactured at scale, so it may need its suppliers to co-locate with the company, said Chief Operating Officer Rusty DiNicola. Additionally, it may prompt nearby suppliers to expand as well.
Currently, GenH2’s workforce consists of 32 employees and 30 contractors. It committed to create 100 full-time jobs in Titusville as part of an economic incentive agreement with the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.
The Titusville complex is an in-progress, multi-phase redevelopment that eventually will include:
The redevelopment of an existing building to create 60,000 square feet with lab space, offices and a visitors center
An existing building expanded to 100,000 square feet of space primarily with manufacturing areas, as well as office space
The construction of a 40-foot-by-40-foot hollow cube which will serve as an observation deck for rocket launches and demonstrations for hydrogen-powered drones
An entity tied to GenH2 closed on the purchase of the 10.74-acre property in September for $6.04 million from Titusville Centroplex LLC, according to property records. The broker for GenH2 was Titusville-based Rocket City Commercial brokered by EXP Commercial LLC. Titusville-based Rush Construction Inc. is general contractor.
$9.5B for hydrogen fuel
Hydrogen is a fuel source with a wide range of potential applications, including cars, transit systems and homes. While its most common current use is for industrial processes that include refining petroleum, producing fertilizer and processing foods, the U.S. government will pump billions of dollars into the hydrogen fuel sector.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by U.S. President Joe Biden in November includes $9.5 billion for investment into hydrogen fuel. The chief provision is $8 billion to develop four regional clean hydrogen hubs meant to improve clean hydrogen production, processing, delivery, storage and end use.
Plus, some of the world’s biggest companies are becoming interested in hydrogen fuel. For example, Latham, New York-based Power Plug recently landed a deal to supply up to 20 tons of “green hydrogen” per day to fuel a network of 9,500 forklifts used to shuttle groceries, televisions and household products around Walmart distribution centers. “Green hydrogen” refers to hydrogen produced through a process powered by renewable energy sources.
“You will see more demand for ‘green hydrogen’ than supply,” Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said. “That is a good economic position to be in.”
Andy Marsh • Donna Abbott-Vlahos | Albany Business Review
The fuel source has the potential to support millions of jobs. A 2022 report by consulting giant McKinsey & Co. estimates hydrogen and biofuels could support two million direct jobs by 2050.