- NPPD and Monolith Materials have signed a letter of intent to procure 2 TWh of wind and solar power annually with energy storage capacity in Nebraska
- NPPD will solicit bids for this capacity eying commercial operations for selected facilities to start not later than December 31, 2025
- Monolith Materials will use the clean energy procured to power its Olive Creek carbon black production expansion at Hallam in Nebraska
Come March 2021 and US based utility Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will launch a request for proposals round for new wind and solar generation including energy storage to seek close to 2 TWh of clean energy annually to power Monolith Materials’ operations.
Power generated will be procured by NPPD through power purchase agreement (PPA) and sold to chemicals and hydrogen producer Monolith Materials under a letter of intent signed by the duo. NPPD will deliver renewable electricity to Monolith through its wholesale customer Norris Public Power District.
This clean energy will be used by Monolith to power its Olive Creek facility expansion dubbed as OC2 which on completion will produce 180,000 metric tons (MT) of carbon black production annually in Hallam, Nebraska. Construction on site is expected to begin this year.
It will be integrated with Monolith’s 1st commercial scale ‘carbon free’ production facility OC1 producing 14,000 MT carbon black annually and which is already using renewable energy credits to offset 100% of its electricity needs. Monolith plans to use the hydrogen generated through its manufacturing process to produce clean ammonia, calling it carbon free anhydrous ammonia, to be used by a number of industries.
Through the agreement with NPPD for a mix of wind and solar generation along with energy storage, Monolith says it can provide sufficient renewable power to offset its OC1 and OC2 operations in the future.
What this agreement will bring to Nebraska is additional clean energy generation resources, as NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent explained, “The approximately 2 million MWh of generation would create a sufficient number of renewable energy certificates (RECs) to meet 100% of Monolith’s average annual energy usage and meet their environmental and sustainability goals.” He added, “While we are adding additional generation resources, NPPD will continue to maintain our highly competitive rates, which was one of the reasons Monolith moved its operations to Nebraska.”
On completion of the OC2 facility, Monolith will be Nebraska’s largest consumer of electricity.
Candidates shortlisted from the RFPs received will enter into further negotiations with NPPD who will then sign PPAs by September 1, 2021. The selected facilities will be expected to start commercial operations latest by December 31, 2025.
Nebraska is one among 12 Midwest US states which according to an October 2019 study by Fitch Solutions Macro Research had 78.63 GW solar PV capacity registered with independent system operators and regional transmission organizations back then (see Midwest To Help US Add 100 GW Solar Over 10 Years).