U.S. midstream giant Williams has partnered with Denmark’s Ørsted A/S to co-develop hydrogen or synthetic natural gas facilities powered by renewable energy.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to identify ways to leverage Ørsted’s renewables and hydrogen expertise with Williams’ natural gas infrastructure and processing experience to develop the projects. In particular, they are exploring a large-scale wind energy, electrolysis and synthetic gas-via-methanation project in western Wyoming, where Williams owns land and natural gas infrastructure.
Williams’ Chad Zamarin, senior vice president for Corporate Strategic Development, said the company’s large-scale energy infrastructure network and gas assets “are ideal partners for facilitating the integration of renewables into the energy mix…
“It’s through technology innovation and collaboration with forward-thinking companies such as Ørsted that we can leverage our assets and expertise to develop solutions to advance the clean energy economy.”
Williams’ network handles 30% of the natural gas used for power generation, heating and industrial use in the United States. Its assets, according to the company, are adaptable to future renewable energy storage and transport. Furthermore, they are “well-positioned to advance the future of hydrogen, linking the lowest cost production sites for renewable hydrogen and other e-fuels to growing demand centers.”
Earlier this year, Williams signed a similar agreement with Microsoft Corp. to advance its net zero goals through digital technology and innovation. Williams intends to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and move toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. En route to its goal, the company is aiming to achieve a 56% absolute reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 versus 2005 levels.
Ørsted, which divested its oil and gas assets in 2017 to transform to a renewable energy business, is Denmark’s largest energy company. It also operates onshore wind farms in the United States, with a total capacity of 1.7 GW. Wind and solar projects also are in the works in Alabama, Nebraska, South Dakota and Texas.
Ørsted Onshore’s Vishal Kapadia, who is chief commercial officer, said the company was transforming the onshore business into a potential growth platform for renewable hydrogen. “Combining our renewable development and operations expertise with access to large-scale gas transportation networks and infrastructure will further expand the scope of energy solutions we can deliver and positions us well to continue to develop innovative approaches to drive the decarbonization of the energy system.”
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