Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Utilities - February 7, 2022
University of Vermont Joins Partnership for Green Hydrogen
The University of Vermont and Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. (VGS) have joined a partnership to study the impact of green hydrogen on lowering carbon emissions.
A pilot project will allow GlobalFoundries (GF), a global semiconductor manufacturer, to reduce its carbon emissions more by introducing the use of green hydrogen, which will be produced on-site at its Fab 9 campus in Essex Junction, Vermont.
Electrolyzers, powered with electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar, will extract hydrogen from water without producing new carbon emissions. The company will blend the extracted hydrogen into Fab 9’s gas lines and reduce carbon emissions through reduced consumption of natural gas.
GF will introduce green hydrogen into the natural gas lines used for heating Fab 9. If the pilot project is successful, the hydrogen produced on-site could be used to support the chip manufacturing process, which currently uses a type of hydrogen that is known as “gray” because it is extracted from fossil fuels instead of water and additional GHG emissions are generated during its production process.
Green hydrogen is an important strategic innovation to displace fossil gas and reduce GHG emissions in support of Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Green hydrogen can be blended with natural gas and used directly in boilers, furnaces and other appliances. For the pilot project, green hydrogen will be blended only into GF’s on-site systems in Essex Junction. The project, known as the Vermont Green Hydrogen Partnership, is the first initiative from the Vermont Clean and Resilient Energy Consortium (VCREC), a statewide group of Vermont utilities and related industries that have partnered with the University of Vermont to advance the state’s clean energy goals through research.
“We are thrilled to work with Vermont’s largest private employer and the team at UVM to pilot green hydrogen in the Green Mountains,” said VGS President and CEO Neale Lunderville in a statement. “This project will demonstrate the value of renewable fuel in high-tech manufacturing, which is critical to fighting climate change. At VGS, we’re focused on growing the supply of renewable energy available to Vermonters as they heat their homes and businesses. Green hydrogen is an exciting, zero-carbon fuel that holds promise to displace even more fossil fuels, contributing to our state’s climate goals and benefiting our customers.”