WILBARGER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Wilbarger County has been selected as the soon-to-be home of a green hydrogen production facility.

On Thursday, December 8, Air Products and the AES Corporation (AES) announced that they selected Wilbarger County as the site of a nearly $4 billion green hydrogen production facility.

The companies will build, own and operate the facility, and when it opens in 2027, it will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

The project is expected to create more than 1,300 construction jobs, 115 permanent operations jobs, as well as 200 transportation and distribution jobs. The facility is expected to generate approximately $500 million in tax benefits to the State of Texas over its lifetime.

Once the facility is online, it will have the capacity to produce more than 200 metric tons per day (MT/D) of green hydrogen, helping to meet critical demand over the next decades in the transportation, power generation and other industrial markets.

Following the announcement, Governor Greg Abbott released the following statement:

“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. 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.”

The demand for green hydrogen for mobility and industrial applications is expected to grow across the United States over the next decade. The growth in demand is supported by green hydrogen’s role in net-zero ambitions announced by several states and major corporations.

“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 Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

Air Products and 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. 

“This project will capitalize on AES strength in energy innovation and Texas’ abundant renewable resources to extend Texas leadership position in the energy sector,” said Andrs Gluski, AES President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

Green hydrogen has significantly lower carbon emissions than grey hydrogen, which is produced by steam reforming of natural gas, which makes up the bulk of the hydrogen market.

Over the project lifetime, it is expected to avoid more than 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of avoiding emissions from nearly five billion gallons of diesel fuel.