Green hydrogen plant could be next energy step for Orange County, rest of Southeast Texas

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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BEAUMONT — Entergy Texas officials announces they and ENGIE North America are working collaboratively toward the exploration of mutually beneficial sustainability solutions.

ENGIE is developing a 350 MW industrial-scale green hydrogen plant in Entergy Texas’ service area with an estimated commercial operation date by 2026.

This first phase of the proposed project requires an investment of more than $500 million and is expected to generate up to 500 jobs during construction and as many as 40 full time positions.

Subsequent phases of the proposed hydrogen project could grow this Renewable Hydrogen project to 1 GW by 2030.

When Orange Newsmedia asked where the hydrogen plant would be located, Entergy officials said “Southeast Texas,” adding more details, such as exact location, would be shared in the future when the project officially starts.

Entergy Texas President and CEO Eliecer Viamontes said Southeast Texas has the infrastructure and workforce to play an essential role in the growing low-to-zero carbon hydrogen industry, “and our collaboration with ENGIE will lead the way for significant advancements.”

Entergy Texas operates in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator energy market and has served customers in Southeast Texas for decades.

Company officials announced plans to invest more than $2.5 billion by the end of 2024 to build a more resilient and sustainable energy future for the region.

Locally, Gov. Greg Abbott joined approximately 200 business executives, state and local officials as well as community leaders from multiple counties April 24 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a power plant that will combine natural gas and hydrogen to produce enough electricity for 230,000 homes.

Entergy Texas’ Orange County Advanced Power Station received approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas in November, with construction currently underway.

“It’s no secret that Southeast Texas is a region on the rise,” Viamontes said at the time. “From residential growth to industrial growth, the Gulf Coast remains a popular destination for families and businesses. The addition of the Orange County Advanced Power Station is an essential piece of Entergy Texas work to meeting that growth.”

Eric De Caluwe, managing director of flexible generation & hydrogen at ENGIE North America, says high-energy, low-emission, locally produced hydrogen could be the next game-changing energy resource for Texas.

“(W)e look forward to working with Entergy Texas to serve the changing needs of industrial and heavy transport customers here as they seek cleaner forms of energy to fuel their operations and processes,” he said.