Hydrogen Energy in California

Mark Lerdal, Hydrogen California and MP2 Capital

Monday, November 12, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All

Hydrogen Energy California is a project for converting fossil fuels to hydrogen in order to generate clean power and manufacture low-carbon fertilizer products. HECA will be one of the first industrial complexes combining a large, commercial scale power plant and a low-carbon footprint fertilizer manufacturing facility, while capturing the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the fossil fuel to hydrogen conversion process. Utilizing the CO2 for fertilizer production and enhanced oil recovery increases domestic energy security, while simultaneously storing the captured CO2 permanently in the geologic formations where the oil was extracted. It is a project that offers California, the nation, and the world progress toward controlling global climate change, while providing enormous economic stimulus through construction and related jobs over the intermediate term and permanent manufacturing and related jobs over the long term.


When HECA filed its amended application for certification with the California Energy Commission in May of 2012, Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, called HECA “an innovative business model that improves the economic viability of the project. HECA intends to ramp up the facility to produce more electricity during peak hours of need in order to maximize the energy and capacity value of the plant. This is an example of the kind of creative thinking we will need to solve the climate crisis.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council has referred to enhanced oil recovery with sequestered CO2 as having vast potential benefits, explaining that “the country has a significant, untapped win-win-win opportunity to stimulate our economy and reduce our dependence on imported oil while actually helping to protect wild places and reduce global warming pollution: a process known as carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). According to industry research CO2-EOR would give America access to large, domestic oil resources, potentially more than four times the proven U.S. reserves, or up to 10 full years of our total national consumption. But without the stimulus of climate protection legislation, CO2 for oil recovery is likely to remain in short supply and most of this domestic oil resource will stay in the ground.”

Brief Bio:

Mark Lerdal is president of Hydrogen Energy California LLC and chief executive officer for MP2 Capital. Previously, Mark managed distressed and pre- and post-bankruptcy investment strategy for KKR Financial, LLC. Mark was also president of KC Holdings, Inc., a developer of energy projects, and he consulted small-cap value fund ValueAct Capital Partners, L.P. on sourcing and evaluating investments in the energy industry. He served as president and chief executive officer of Kenetech Corp., a San Francisco-based company specializing in the financing and management of independent electric power projects. He began his career as an attorney at the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Mark holds a J.D. cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law and graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's in economics.

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