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Company looking to build hydrogen plant at former Groveton mill site


November 07, 2018
GROVETON — Imagine a energy project that would cut energy costs to local businesses by 50 percent. That's what a Utah-based company wants to do in Groveton.

Plans are underway for Q Hydrogen Solutions to construct a state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind hydrogen energy plant at the former Groveton Wausau paper mill site that would create jobs and generate 30 megawatts of clean energy using hydrogen. That would be enough power to provide businesses in the industrial park located at the site.

Hydrogen would be created by stripping hydrogen molecules out of water and using the hydrogen to power engines.

Whitaker Irvin, Jr., CEO of Q Hydrogen Solutions, has explained that the concept of using hydrogen as energy has been explored and done before but it hasn't become mainstream because it is expensive for processing and uses other, less clean fuels such as natural gas. He said his company will use a process of using less heat to produce hydrogen which would make it less expensive to generate.

Power generated by the plant would be sold businesses in the industrial park at half the current price from Eversource. The hope would be to attract other businesses. There is already one company, a data company, committed to buying power -- the company left the region due to high energy costs but would relocate here from Massachusetts if the project goes through.

Once operational, 27 people would be employed and the local economy would be boosted.

The energy would not be interconnected with the large portion of the power grid and is close to the minimum capacity that Site Evaluation Committee approves. So, the company will be applying for an exception from SEC.

State and local officials, including Gov. Chris Sununu, support the project.

The proposal for the project is awaiting air and water permits from the state.

Construction is set for January.

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