Richmond green lights Raven SR’s CEQA permit for renewable hydrogen project

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City green lights Raven SR’s CEQA permit for renewable hydrogen project
Rendering of Raven’s planned waste-to-hydrogen facility in Richmond, courtesy of Raven SR.

By Kathy Chouteau

Raven SR has received California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) approval from the Richmond City Council for its first organic waste-to-hydrogen bioenergy project at Republic Services West Contra Costa Sanitary Landfill (WCCLS) in the city.

The project looks to divert up to 99 wet tons of green and food waste per day from the landfill into Raven SR’s non-combustion Steam/CO2 Reforming process to produce up to 2,400 metric tons of renewable hydrogen annually. The hydrogen fuel produced will be used to power trucks and passenger vehicles, per the company.

Raven SR said its diversion of the organic waste will help meet California’s SB 1383 mandates, potentially avoiding up to 7,200 metric-tons of CO2 emissions annually from the landfill. The project will also produce 60 percent of its own electricity via methane in “state of the art electric generators.”

CEO of Raven SR Matt Murdock said the City of Richmond unanimously approved the company’s waste-to-hydrogen facility, “setting the stage for the community to be a leader in the global hydrogen transition.” He said that by diverting organic waste from Republic Services’ closed WCCLS, the company’s facility will produce clean hydrogen and reduce both greenhouse gases and health risks in the community.

The project is expected to have economic benefits in Richmond, too, “by supplying local gas stations with clean, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel for fuel cell vehicles and creating new green jobs, including 100-150 construction positions,” said Murdock.

City of Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez remarked that the “City of Richmond is excited to begin this journey into the future of green technology, a green economy, a green workforce and a greener world.”

Raven SR said agreements have been made with various companies—including project investors Chevron New Energies and Hyzon Motors—to market the hydrogen via Bay Area and Northern California fueling stations.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management Department (BAAQMD) previously approved Raven SR’s pilot facility and is currently reviewing a permit from it. “Upon receiving authority to construct, the company plans to break ground this summer, with full commercial operations beginning in Q1 2024,” per Raven SR.