Idaho isn’t just about potatoes anymore as a city called Mountain Home is the site of the nation’s first commercial wind-to-hydrogen plant operated by Synthetic Energy, Inc. The twin wind turbines, supplied by Entegrity Wind Systems, create electricity and in turn use the electricity to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen.
Synthetic Energy has a contract to sell the hydrogen to Norco, which is a Boise, Idaho commercial gas distributor that used to have to go to Washington state in order to buy hydrogen. The hydrogen gas will most likely be used by oil refineries, annealing plants and glass manufacturers. In time, the gas many be sold to the transportation industry as well.
The USDA Department of Rural Development awarded Synthetic Energy a $200,000 grant in order to complete the project. Since initiating the process, Norco has said that its need for hydrogen has increased and Synthetic Energy will be able to fulfill those needs by either adding more wind turbines or solar panels.
This will serve not only as a good technological model but a good business model for other companies, proving that there is money to be made in producing hydrogen, debunking the critics who say that profiting from hydrogen is nothing but hot air.