Beginning in 2016...
Nebraska Power Plant Being Converted from Coal to Hydrogen

By Jaclyn Brandt

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has announced an innovative change in one of their plants by converting the coal-fired boiler at its Sheldon Station plant to hydrogen — a zero-net emissions fuel.

"The hydrogen will be produced by Monolith Materials as a co-product from its production of carbon black using natural gas as a feedstock," the utility said in a statement. "The collaborative undertaking is expected to create good paying jobs at the site and enable NPPD to continue to generate and deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to Nebraskans."

Monolith Materials is a manufacturing company that produces carbon black, a material that is found in many household products, like tires, rubber and plastics, printing inks, and batteries. Hydrogen is a byproduct of that production, which led to the partnership between the two companies.

As part of the deal, Monolith will be constructing a new plant next to the Sheldon Station in Hallam, Nebraska.

"We are embarking on a new chapter in the history of Sheldon Station and electric generation in Nebraska with the decision by Monolith Materials to locate in Nebraska," said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. "Sheldon Station has always been a place of firsts — the first nuclear plant in Nebraska and now the first utility scale hydrogen powered generator. We are very proud of this facility and the people who work here."

NPPD said the Sheldon Station boiler will be able to produce 125 megawatts (MW) of electricity from hydrogen. The utility expects to reduce their CO2 emissions by 1.1 million tons per year at the power station.

Monolith and NPPD expect to begin construction in 2016, with expected completion by 2019. More information about Sheldon Station and Monolith Materials can be found on NPPD's website.
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