Energy storage and clean fuel specialist ITM Power recently revealed an increase of £5.66m ($7.1m) in signed contracts in its latest operations update. This new development brings the UK-based company’s total contracted pipeline to £24.36m ($10.6m), with £22.64m ($28.4m) of projects under contract and a further £1.72m ($2.2m) of contracts in the final stages of negotiation.
gasworld spoke to ITM Power CEO, Dr. Graham Cooley about the company’s recent financial boost.
Congratulations on reaching £24.36m, how are you keeping up with this influx of contracts?
We are delighted with the increase in deal flow – in fact orders were up by 100% in the 2016 calendar year. To us, this is a reflection of the hard work already put in to the product offering and its competitiveness in the market place. We now have representation in Scotland, Germany, France, Benelux, Nordics and North America in support of our business development activities.
Have you made any changes to your operations to adapt to the increased demand?
The increase in demand is not a surprise to us and we have planned for it to continue. We now have the ability to manufacture twice as many units simultaneously due to reorganisation of the shop floor. Taken together with a reduction in assembly time for each unit, we are well placed for continued growth.
You mentioned that ITM Power has been receiving enquiries from multinational entities for significantly larger platforms, can you share any details on who, or where, these entities are?
In addition to growing volume, we also see demand for larger scale products. This reflects how the market is developing and how larger companies are engaging with the need to green-up their processes. ITM Power has responded to this, recently having launched designs for a 10MW module which can be integrated together up to 100MW. This provides us a with a significantly larger building block which enables us to address these emerging requirements while maintaining a flexible offering. While it is not possible to disclose ongoing confidential discussions, it is well known that green hydrogen (H2) from electrolysis is of growing interest in the refining and chemical synthesis arenas.
The bulk of the company’s enquiries continue to be for 0.3MW to 6MW systems, what else is in popular demand?
In addition to electrolysis equipment, ITM Power offers fully integrated packages, such as H2 refueling stations. We have seen steady growth in the deployment of such stations for passenger vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity and the Hyundai IX35 FCV. Of growing international interest are H2 refueling stations for busses, trains and ferries!
I’m aware that ITM Power currently owns five operational public H2 refueling stations with another seven under contract. Where are the additional seven going to be located?
Of the H2 stations under contract, the majority will be deployed in the UK, plus one in France. The first of these to be deployed will be located on a Shell forecourt in Beaconsfield. This is particularly exciting as it will see the H2 dispenser located under the canopy alongside conventional liquid fuel dispensers. This will be the first deployment of its kind in the UK and represents the conclusion of significant compliance work. The relationship with Shell has been a very significant step forward for ITM Power and wider acceptance of H2 fuel in the UK.
What projects are you currently working on?
The central theme of all of our development work is performance, scale and cost reduction. We recently announced our first 3MW electrolyser unit funded by InnovateUK to be deployed in Birmingham for grid balancing and refueling H2 buses partnering with Birmingham city council.
So are you seeing considerable cost reductions in ITM Power’s technology?
ITM continues to achieve cost reductions having already surpassed the EU 2020 cost target of €1,000/kW ($1.1/KW). We see further improvements coming from volume, scale and ongoing technology improvements.
How far can ITM Power’s capabilities be stretched?
Both energy storage and clean fuel are massive markets. The UK curtailed 1.27 terawatt-hours (TWh) of wind energy in 2016 and National Grid also spent £1.1bn on grid balancing services. Absorbing all that excess renewable power and converting it into clean fuel would require 1 GW of electrolysis; which is a big business opportunity for ITM Power!