@bison78 What if it is surplus and created off peak? Is it really diverting power that would go to the grid? It can also tap into the nearby larger Bonneville grid to produce from surplus as well. In this case the energy potential would go to waste anyway.
The dam’s 10 turbines have the ability to produce up to 840 megawatts of electricity, enough for more than 640,000 homes. But the dam can only store a small amount of water. So, for the most part, the river must be sent through the turbines, or spilled downstream in volumes limited to protect young migrating salmon from too high of concentrations of dissolved gas in the water by the dam. Wells Dam, owned by the Douglas County Public Utility District, will supply electricity to pull hydrogen gas out of well water. A fish hatchery has been built in the last two years alongside the dam.
The ability to direct electricity to hydrogen production will help to even out generation, reducing wear and tear and costly maintenance on the turbines, according to Ivory, the general manager.
Personally I don't think NG plants are going anywhere anytime soon. They are way too valuable to our grid in the near future. However we need better answers to our energy storage problem. If we are to wean off fossil fuels we need to rely on unreliable sources of power. In order to do that we need to store it when we can. Hydrogen is just one way of being able to store energy. I'm certainly not saying it's the best. I think it is viable for some areas but not all and the infrastructure should be built accordingly.
If it would go to waste anyway, then, yes, it's clean, but most hydro is an excellent energy storage and dispatchable electricity source.
Anyway, using hydrogen for transport is stupid at the moment. Any green hydrogen should be used to displace the natural gas-derived hydrogen that is used in large quantities in industry.
@pip-bip Ohh, I had one of those in high school and college, ca. 2002-2006. 940 Turbo sedan, dark blue with tan leather interior. The interior was rapidly biodegrading to dust the entire time, but the rest of the car was quite solid, and surprisingly fun to drive for a brand people don't usually think of for sport sedans. My dad is not a car guy at all, but he borrowed it once when his car was in the shop and came back way late, because his route home took him through some rural areas and he wound up getting distracted throwing it around on country back roads. I really thought I was making progress there, like it was a breakthrough for him, but didn't seem to result in a permanent change in car buying tastes.