Wilbarger County to be home to nation’s largest green hydrogen facility
Even though the sun has set on the Oklaunion power plant, it is now slated to be replaced by a green hydrogen facility. On Dec. 8 Governor Greg Abbott celebrated the announcement of Air Products and The AES Corporation’s (AES) new mega-scale green hydrogen facility to be constructed in at the site of the retired Oklaunion power plant.
The project is anticipated to create more than 1,300 construction jobs, 115 permanent operations jobs and 200 transportation and distribution jobs. It is also expected to generate approximately $500 million in revenue to the State of Texas over the course of the project’s lifetime and be the largest green hydrogen facility in the United States.
“With the announcement of this groundbreaking facility by Air Products and AES, the State of Texas will extend its leadership in U.S. energy production and help meet our country’s energy needs for decades to come,” said Governor Abbott. “This project will not only bring hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue to the Lone Star State but will also expand our state’s robust energy sector and further solidify Texas as a global powerhouse in this critical industry. I thank Air Products and AES for choosing Texas, and I look forward to working alongside the two companies and local leaders as we keep Texas a global energy leader.”
“We are honored that these two industry-leading global corporations are looking to our county as the site of this major energy project,” said Wilbarger County Judge Greg Tyra. “Texas is known as the home for so many world-class companies and facilities working to provide real energy solutions. We look forward to Wilbarger County becoming the site of the largest green hydrogen project in the U.S.”
“The Air Products/AES hydrogen project is a game changer for Wilbarger County,” said Business Development Corporation of Vernon Member Rick Hardcastle. “We welcome this project and the significant new jobs to be created during construction and beyond. With this project, we’re entering an exciting next chapter.”
Vernon Mayor Pam Gosline welcomes the project and expects it to have a positive impact on the Vernon economy with the addition of over a thousand temporary jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs.
Joe Rogers, president of Rogers Lodging, Inc., owner of the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn in Vernon, expressed excitement at the news of the hydrogen facility, recalling the increased room occupancy in town by temporary workers during the time the Oklaunion power plant was being constructed and how the need continued even after the completion of construction.
Air Products and AES plan to invest approximately $4 billion to build, own, and operate this green hydrogen production facility. The companies said the “mega-scale” project includes 1.4 gigwatts of wind and solar power generation, along with electrolyzer capacity capable of producing more than 200 million metric tons per day of green hydrogen, making it the largest green hydrogen plant in the U.S.
Air Products (APD) and AES (AES) will jointly and equally own the renewable energy and electrolyzer assets, with Air Products serving as the exclusive off-taker and marketer of the green hydrogen under a 30-year contract.
The plant, which is scheduled to start operations in 2027 will use solar and wind power to manufacture the hydrogen, the companies said.
“We are very pleased to extend our hydrogen leadership and our extensive operations in Texas and announce this exciting joint venture with AES for a new green hydrogen production facility, which will be competitive on a global scale while bringing significant tax, job and energy security benefits to Texas,” said Air Products (APD) Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi Ghasemi. “This new facility will be, by far, the largest, fully integrated green hydrogen production facility in the country, using wind and sun energy to produce clean hydrogen for U.S. customers. We are very appreciative of the support of Governor Abbott and state and local officials in the development of this project.”
“This project will capitalize on AES’ strength in energy innovation and Texas’ abundant renewables resources to extend Texas’ leadership position in the energy sector,” said AES President and CEO Andrés Gluski. “We are very pleased to be partnering with Governor Abbott, the State of Texas, and the communities, officials and citizens of Wilbarger County to bring this important project to fruition. We are also pleased to be working alongside Air Products, the world leader in hydrogen production, for this first of its kind mega-scale green hydrogen facility in the U.S.”
The facility is targeted to begin commercial operations in 2027 and will primarily serve mobility and other industrial markets. The project will broaden Texas’ energy portfolio and will position our state as the country’s leader in green hydrogen while helping to reduce emissions.