Hany Farag, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, is among the first to receive funds from a new initiative to revamp Ontario’s energy system.
Green hydrogen has the potential to be a world-changing form of energy. It’s a sustainable, renewable and versatile energy carrier that can be used to support many industry sectors without releasing greenhouse gases. Among the most promising options for producing green hydrogen is electrolysis, which can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from a renewable energy source.
There is a significant challenge, however: the production, storage and transport of this resource is highly complex and costly.
The government of Ontario feels it’s a challenge worth taking on. It has created the Hydrogen Innovation Fund, a brand-new funding initiative administered by the Independent Electricity System Operator, which over the next three years will help invest more than $15 million to help integrate hydrogen into Ontario’s clean electricity system.
Farag is among the first group of researchers to successfully attain this funding. In collaboration with Alectra Utilities, Bruce County, York University Facilities Services and other industry partners, Farag will investigate ways to implement Green Hydrogen Plants (GHPs) across Ontario. “There is currently no infrastructure that can support the integration of electricity and hydrogen,” says Farag. “We want to facilitate the innovation of green hydrogen, and this project will help optimize the design of GHPs and their integration into Ontario’s power systems.”
By providing research-backed information and planning tools to support GHP implementation, Farag’s work will help inform action that contributes to Ontario’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
“Electricity is the core sector we focus on in this work, but these tools will eventually help decarbonize other industries as well,” he says.