Power to Hydrogen & ‘Free Electrons’ Global Utility Group Begin Work in Central Ohio

Columbus-Based Power to Hydrogen Will Pilot Hydrogen Technologies with Global Utilities

COLUMBUS – Driven by the threat of climate change, the world is in the midst of a shift to renewable energy and clean fuels, and green hydrogen is expected to play a key role in this transition.  Power to Hydrogen (P2H2), the Columbus-based clean energy startup has begun work with a consortium of international electrical utilities – including American Electric Power (U.S.), EDP (Portugal), E.ON (Germany), and ESB (Ireland) – to demonstrate its low-cost clean hydrogen production and hydrogen energy storage systems.

The collaboration began as a part of the 2022 Free Electrons Program, the leading innovation program for global utilities. Throughout last year, P2H2 and the Free Electrons utilities worked together to define the future of the electric grid and how hydrogen can play a role in making it cleaner and more resilient. Initially, the potential of P2H2’s technology resulted in the startup winning the $200,000 Grand Challenge Prize in October 2022 at the Final Showcase in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Now, the parties are taking it a step further by piloting the hydrogen technologies in various demonstration projects. This is a first of its kind collaborative pilot effort by the utilities in the Free Electrons program working together to push the technology forward.

The first phase of implementation is being led by P2H2’s growing team of engineers with the assistance of AEP’s team at the utility’s Dolan Technology Center in Columbus, Ohio. The utilities are testing P2H2’s prototype and industrial scale AEM electrolysis technology, as well as its reversible fuel cell technology, a potential breakthrough for long duration energy storage.

“The team is excited to begin demonstration of our technology with a group of forward-thinking global utilities so we can show them what the technology is capable of,” P2H2 CEO Dr. Paul Matter said.

P2H2’s reversible fuel cell technology was partially funded through NASA to economically collect solar energy on the moon and store the energy as hydrogen for use during the two-week-long lunar nights. The same technology has earth-based applications for producing, storing and using hydrogen as a decarbonized energy resource.

Power to Hydrogen is commercializing its patent-protected electrolyzers to reduce the cost of hydrogen production by eliminating expensive precious metals in the system and connecting directly to renewable energy for lower-cost, cleaner electricity.

P2H2’s reversible fuel cell technology also provides a breakthrough in efficient energy storage performance by combining both hydrogen production and electricity generation into a single system.

P2H2 Vice President of Business Development Alex Zorniger has worked closely with the Free Electrons group and was the only clean energy startup to be awarded the cash prize and work on pilot projects with four of the international utilities.

“The work of our co-founders, Paul Matter and Chris Holt, and our entire team of engineers, is being validated through these customer partnerships in ways that will lead to sales globally and manufacturing right here in Central Ohio,” Zorniger said.

For media inquires, please reach out to Alex Zorniger at alexz@power-h2.com


Power to Hydrogen is a US-Based clean hydrogen startup located in Columbus, Ohio. The company is setting out to make clean hydrogen competitive against fossil fuels. The company has also been funded by other strategic partners, and major U.S. institutions, including NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and ARPA-E, the advanced research projects agency of the DOE. https://power-h2.com/

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 6,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2032. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit https://www.aep.com/

Present in 29 markets, EDP is a global energy company engaged in electricity and gas production, transport, distribution and trading. With around 13,000 employees and over 12 million customers, EDP is at the forefront of innovation and renewable energies, and it has recently committed to even more ambitious clean energy targets, including becoming all green by 2030. https://www.edp.com/en

ESB is Ireland’s leading energy utility with operations spanning electricity generation, transmission and distribution and energy supply.  Since 1927, it has worked to enhance the lives of customers, support economic growth and ensure a brighter future for all.  Today that means taking leadership in the transition to a low carbon future, with a target to reach net zero by 2040.  Through our portfolio of brands, ESB Networks, Electric Ireland, ESB International and NIE Networks, we are removing carbon from our generation fleet, creating a smart network to support a low carbon energy system and developing new products and services to help our customers manage their energy use more efficiently. www.esb.ie

E.ON is one of Europe’s largest operators of energy infrastructure and a provider of innovative solutions for more than 50 million customers. Thus, we are decisively driving forward the energy transition in Europe and are committed to sustainability, climate protection, and the future of our planet. As an important part of E.ON’s business, Energy Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) is best positioned to become the change agent for the sustainable energy transition. As a long-term energy partner for cities, municipalities, real estate and industrial customers, EIS offers technical infrastructure solutions that improve the carbon footprint of the customers. https://www.eon.com/en

Power to Hydrogen Wins $200k Free Electrons 2022 Award

COLUMBUS – Power to Hydrogen, the Columbus-based clean energy startup, has won the 2022 edition of Free Electrons, a global innovation program sponsored by six global utilities. As part of the program, P2H2 been awarded $200,000 from Free Electrons.

Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) is commercializing its patent-protected, low cost electrolyzers to reduce the cost of hydrogen production and its longer-term storage. Their technology is currently being used in the development of a reversible fuel cell for NASA that is intended to be used for energy storage on the moon. P2H2 is also engaged in other projects with the U.S. Dept. of Energy, global energy leader Shell and others.

Free Electrons is made up of six electrical utilities from North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. The utilities include American Electric Power (AEP) based in Columbus, Ohio, EDP based in Portugal, E.ON based in Germany, ESB based in Ireland, Origen Energy based in Australia, and CLP based in Hong Kong.

“To be recognized by utilities from around the globe with a cash prize for the work we’ve done and our company’s ability to collaborate with them and other startups over the past summer demonstrates our growth as a team and the strength of our underlying technology,” said P2H2 CEO and Chief Technologist Paul Matter.

Alex Zorniger, Vice President of Business Development at P2H2 has lead the Free Electrons project at P2H2 and represented the company at both of Free Electron’s conferences this year. The first was held in Chicago and hosted by AEP. The final meeting was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil

“The program is built to be a ‘business development’ opportunity for startups to deploy their technologies and help leading utilities solve their net zero and electricicity grid of the future challenges. The cash prize is a huge honor for our team, and I think the pilot opportunities we are working on with the utilities may be even more exciting down the road,” Zorniger said.

“Also, to get a 3-foot long decorative check like you see in the lottery was a personal highlight. There was no way I was leaving that prop back in Brazil – there were quite a few chuckles from passengers on my flight home as I wrestled with it on the plane.”

P2H2 was the sole cash recipient during this cycle of Free Electrons.

Beyond the moon, P2H2’s technology will be useful helping the utilities store renewable energy for long periods of time, as well as supporting the utilities’ industrial customers decarbonize in the production of fertilizer, steel making, or transportation applications, to name a few.

pH Matter and Power to Hydrogen Demonstrate Record-Breaking Reversible Fuel Cell

NASA-Sponsored Work in Development for Use on the Moon

COLUMBUS – Ohio-based companies pH Matter and Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) recently announced record-breaking reversible fuel cell performance in their NASA Game Changing Development annual review.

NASA is interested in the technology for lunar energy storage and the generation of rocket propellants from lunar water.

A reversible fuel cell effectively operates as a battery, but can also make useful gases. The technology makes hydrogen and oxygen from water and electricity and can operate in reverse to make electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. The Columbus-based team demonstrated a reversible fuel cell, based on their patented design, that directly produces hydrogen and oxygen at 250 atmospheres. This pressure is typically found in high pressure gas cylinders and is generated in the team’s unique system –electrochemically without mechanical gas compressors — a huge efficiency savings that simplifies the system.

The system can also operate as a fuel cell to generate power at the same pressures.

Project lead, Dr. Paul Matter said, “As far as we know, this is the highest pressure anyone has operated any fuel cell, reversible or traditional, by an order of magnitude.”

High pressure is significant to reduce storage mass and volume and increase efficiency.

“We are projecting energy density exceeding 800 W-h/kg for NASA’s application, about 4 times higher than a battery,” Matter said.

Additionally, the companies recently announced award of a prestigious ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency for the Department of Energy) project to further reduce the cost and increase the operating pressure of systems for earth-based applications. Beyond the moon, the technology will be useful for renewable energy storage, production of fertilizer, steel making, or transportation applications, to name a few.

“With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we are seeing the oil and gas industry shift full-throttle to green hydrogen for carbon-free fuel. Our technology will enable hydrogen to be produced at a more useful pressure, more efficiently, and at a lower cost,” said Alex Zorniger, Power to Hydrogen VP of Business Development.

 The new law provides large subsidies to U.S.-based manufacturers of green hydrogen equipment.

The team’s NASA project is managed by parent-company pH Matter and the technology is being commercialized through venture-backed Power to Hydrogen.  For more information contact: Alex Zorniger, VP of Business Development, Power to Hydrogen, alexz@power-h2.com.


Power to Hydrogen Wins EnergyNext Pilot Pitch Day

P2H2 News

Power to Hydrogen Wins EnergyNext Pilot Pitch Day

COLUMBUS, Ohio August 2nd, 2021 – In order to accelerate the deployment of the 250kW Clean Energy Bridge (CEB) pilot installations, Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) participated in the EnergyNext accelerator program this summer. The accelerator program was designed by Canada’s largest Cleantech accelerator, Foresight, and Eunike Ventures out of Houston, Texas to support the commercialization of companies with innovative energy and sustainability solutions. As part of the program, Power to Hydrogen was recently invited to participate in the Pilot Pitch Day. The Pilot Pitch Day provides a stage for startups to present their solutions to major industry partners, with the goal of developing pilot projects and commercial opportunities between startups and corporations. During the competition, Power to Hydrogen pitched its Clean Energy Bridge technology against 10 competing startups with innovative energy solutions. After hearing all of the startup pitches, the judges awarded the Power to Hydrogen team with the honor of “Best Pitch: Hardware Division” for the competition.

The competition’s judges came from all corners of the energy ecosystem, including integrated energy companies like Shell, Hess, & Delek US, petroleum services companies like NOV, Baker Hughes, & BHP Petroleum, and engineering services company Technip Energies. During the competition, the judges were evaluating companies based on the promise of their technology, strength of the value proposition, profitability of the economic opportunity, and the overall strength of the pitch. Business Intern & rising 3L law student at Ohio State, Walter Gibson, developed and led the pitch, while CEO/CTO Dr. Paul Matter assisted with the technical Q&A potion of the presentation. Gibson had this to say after winning the pitch competition, “It was great to be able to showcase our technology to knowledgeable industry representatives. I’m very thankful for the team at Eunike and all the work they did preparing each company to deliver their pitches.”

As a result of the award, Power to Hydrogen will be offered the opportunity to discuss pilot project installations with an array of industry-leading, multinational energy companies, including those represented by the judges. Power to Hydrogen currently has a variety of pilot project negotiations underway with various commercial partners, ranging from transportation to energy distribution and more. The win at the EnergyNext Pitch Day will further accelerate the commercialization plan for Power to Hydrogen’s groundbreaking Clean Energy Bridge Technology. P2H2 is still accepting inquiries from corporate partners for 250kW pilot installations with the goal of finalizing these agreements by the end of 2021.

About Power to Hydrogen

Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) is accelerating the transition to a clean energy future by improving access to and affordability of renewably derived green hydrogen and energy storage. With Clean Energy Bridge, an efficient and cost-effective reversible fuel cell system, P2H2 generates hydrogen on-site and produces power when needed most, during peak usage and outages.

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