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Canadian utility NB Power has partnered with Joi Scientific to develop the world’s first hydrogen-powered distributed electricity grid.

The project includes the use of coastal seawater to to generate energy to meet base load demand whilst reducing carbon emissions.

Some 30 distributed hydrogen production power stations will be developed alongside wind turbines, hydro and nuclear plants.

The integrated system is expected to help NB Power to improve its customer services by offering low and affordable energy tariffs to customers.

NB Power and Joi Scientific will offer the integrated hydrogen, wind, nuclear and hydro power service to other utilities in North America. The service will be integrated with smart grid management.

The two have in 2016 signed an agreement for NB Power to sell the service to other utilities following successful third-party verifications of the efficiency of the hydrogen 2.0 technology.

The technology liberates hydrogen from untreated seawater and enables localised production of hydrogen on-site, on-demand, closer to where customers are located.

This reduces a utility’s operational costs through the elimination of expenses associated with power transmission.

NB Power is confident the project will expand its renewables portfolio and help Canada to achieve its 2030 goals to reduce emissions by 56% from 2005 levels.

The energy provider to 400,000 customers is generating 37% of its energy from renewables and claims it is on track to contribute towards New Brunswick province generating 40% of its electricity from clean resources by 2020.

“NB Power has long been committed to investing in the sustainability of our province’s energy future. We are encouraged with the progress made to date on Hydrogen 2.0 and are looking forward to the next phase of co-development,” explained Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO, NB Power.

“This historic agreement with NB Power signals the transition of our Hydrogen 2.0 technology from the laboratory into full-scale development and commercialization,” added Traver Kennedy, CEO, Joi Scientific.