Atura Power Advances Project for 20-MW Niagara Hydrogen Centre 

Aiming to bring its 20-megawatt Nigara Hydrogen Centre online in early 2024, Atura Power has commissioned Cummins to design and manufacture the electrolyzer, and also contracted with other vendors to build what will become one of Canada’s largest green hydrogen facilities. The selection of Cummins to provide the proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis system was announced October 6. Providers for facility engineering services and underground hydrogen storage have also been selected.  

Left to right: Cummins Managing Director of Hydrogen Technologies – Americas, Alex Savelli and Executive Director of Electrolyzer Engineering, Maite Rivas; Atura Power President and CEO, Shelley Babin and Hydrogen Sector Lead, Kelly Grieves 

“The Niagara Hydrogen Centre is our flagship facility that will set the pace for our green and low-carbon hydrogen projects,” said Shelley Babin, Atura Power president and CEO. The hydrogen produced will be provided to industrial customers for immediate consumption, also transported and blended into the fuel stream at its generating station nearby. Atura Power is a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation. “The heart of the facility is the electrolyzer, and we are excited to be working with an experienced and accomplished industry leader in Cummins,” said Babin. 

Alexey Ustinov, new head of electrolyzer business for Cummins 

“We are thrilled to partner with Atura Power to provide green power in Ontario,” said Alexey Ustinov, vice president of electrolyzers at Cummins. “This project is a great demonstration of the potential of PEM electrolyzer technology to decarbonize our power sources and lay the groundwork for a sustainable future. Once completed, this project will be the second 20 MW electrolyzer installation for Cummins in Canada and an important milestone in scaling the green hydrogen economy in North America.” Ustinov was named the leader of the company’s hydrogen generation business in June. Based in Belgium, he has been with Cummins 28 years, most recently leading the off-highway diesel engine segment. 

Cummins HyLYZER 100-30 PEM electrolyzer 

Cummins will manufacture the electrolyzer at its plant in nearby Mississauga. It acquired Mississauga-based Hydrogenics in 2019 and has continued to expand its hydrogen and other zero-emissions technologies portfolio which includes PEM and alkaline electrolyzers. 

In another recent assignment, Atura selected St. Catharines, Ontario-based CEM Engineering and Sacré-Davey Engineering of North Vancouver, British Columbia (CEM/Sacre-Davey joint venture) to advance the engineering of the Centre. 

Also, Atura recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Plains All American to analyze the feasibility for subsurface hydrogen storage at its nearby Windsor salt-cavern product storage facility. The tie-in would enable hydrogen to be produced during off-peak times, on a daily or seasonal basis, and stored as a long-term energy source for applications such as high-emitting industries, heavy duty trucking and for long-term, seasonal storage of energy for the electricity grid. 

“As a large operator of Canadian natural gas liquids storage caverns, exploring the feasibility of utilizing our assets for hydrogen storage is an important step in advancing our emerging energy platform,” said Dan Noack, vice president of Emerging Energy & Process Optimization for Plains. Based in Houston, Plains owns 28 million barrels of natural gas liquids storage capacity including more than 50 storage caverns with significant connectivity via pipeline, rail and trucking. Successful completion of the project would enable Plains to join a relatively small number of hydrogen storage operators in North America. 

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