Gov. Jim Justice announced today that Fidelis New Energy®, LLC (Fidelis) has selected Mason County as the site for a lifecycle carbon neutral hydrogen production facility – The Mountaineer GigaSystem™ and the Monarch Cloud Campus for data centers powered by net-zero hydrogen.
Mountaineer will be implementing the proprietary FidelisH2® technology that enables production of hydrogen with zero lifecycle carbon emissions from a combination of natural gas, carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) and renewable energy.
“I am beyond excited that West Virginia will be the home of the Mountaineer GigaSystem and Monarch Cloud Campus,” Governor Justice said. “West Virginia has a long history as an energy powerhouse for our nation, thanks to our hardworking people who know how to get the job done. And now, we’re in a great position to make the most of a new fuel – hydrogen – through this incredible project in Mason County. There’s simply no doubt that Fidelis is going to help shape the future of West Virginia in a major, major way by assisting in the commercial lift-off of some truly exciting new industries.
“During my time as Governor, West Virginia has seen many major economic development wins, which have contributed to the diversification of our economy and the fostering of the most business-friendly environment in the nation. Fidelis’s selection of West Virginia for their projects adds another huge win to our growing track record of success, and I thank all those involved in bringing this project to fruition.”
The project’s four-phase construction plan will provide substantial employment opportunities for the local workforce, with 800 full-time jobs and 4,200 construction workers.
As one of two “high impact industrial business districts” in the state under West Virginia Code 5B 2-21, the project is planned to be built over time in four phases with each phase producing over 500 metric tons per day (MTPD) of net-zero carbon hydrogen at an approximate capital cost of $2 billion per phase excluding associated investments in data centers, greenhouses, etc. The first FidelisH2 train of the Mountaineer GigaSystem is expected to commence operations in 2028.
This net-zero carbon hydrogen will be used for a variety of purposes including carbon-neutral hyperscale datacenters, greenhouses, transportation, and steel production. The Monarch Cloud Campus will consist of net-zero carbon emission data centers on land secured by Fidelis within the Mountaineer site and additional acreage within Mason County. Fully built out, the data center capacity could reach 1,000 MW, representing over $5 billion in additional investment.
The incentive package from the State of West Virginia will enable Mountaineer to conduct additional geologic evaluation for CCUS required for the permits needed to conduct CCUS activities. These activities will serve as the foundation for the clean hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration industries in the state, providing a source of jobs and generating state revenue for CO2 volumes stored safely and permanently underground. Fidelis has a demonstrated history of leadership within the CCUS space, with experience in partnering and developing carbon storage assets on the Gulf Coast of the United States and in Europe. When all four phases of the Mountaineer GigaSystem are operational, approximately 10 million metric tons per year of CO2 would be permanently stored, providing over $100 million in annual revenue to the state or approximately $25 million per phase each year.
The State of West Virginia and Fidelis have finalized an operating agreement which determines the terms for the targeted storage capacity and the pore space agreement establishing exclusive rights for CCS in certain areas.
“We are proud to have selected West Virginia as home to the Mountaineer GigaSystem where it can serve as a major anchor and support for the broader ARCH2 Hydrogen Hub,” Pete Hollis, Senior Vice President and Global Head of CCUS of Fidelis said. “The state’s position at the forefront of energy and chemical production in the United States make it a natural choice for a project such as ours.”
“Fidelis is extremely appreciative of committed West Virginian and Fidelis Advisory Board member, Major General James “Jim” Hoyer, who passionately advocated for us to implement our FidelisH2 hydrogen technology in the Mountain State and introduced us to many of the people who have collaborated with us to make this announcement possible,” Dan Shapiro, CEO of Co-Founder of Fidelis said. “We would like to express our gratitude to Governor Jim Justice and his administration, including Director Mike Graney, Secretary Mitch Carmichael, the West Virginia Economic Development Authority, and Mason County Economic Development for recognizing the value the Mountaineer GigaSystem and the Monarch Cloud Campus bring to West Virginia.
“West Virginia has made great strides in positioning itself as a global leader in CCUS by leveraging its geology and passing laws that make West Virginia competitive with other states. We are grateful to Governor Justice as well as Speaker of the House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw and Senate President Craig Blair for their roles in positioning West Virginia as a leader in the growing CCUS industry through the laws enacted in the prior regular legislative session regarding CCUS.”
“West Virginia has worked hard to build our reputation as an all-of-the-above energy state,” West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair said. “This investment by Fidelis will enable them to use our abundant natural gas resources to produce clean hydrogen energy, which then will be used to power manufacturing sites and more. I am pleased to welcome them to West Virginia.”
“We are excited to welcome the Fidelis team to West Virginia. We intend to remain a global leader in energy production, and that means welcoming new energy technologies to West Virginia,” Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates Roger Hanshaw said. “It is especially exciting to see West Virginia jump forward into the developing hydrogen economy with Fidelis locating in our state and expanding their portfolio to include utilization of our abundant natural resources. Welcome to the Mountain State.”
“I am proud that the Fidelis New Energy team has selected Mason County, West Virginia for this next generation energy project,” Ret. Major General James Hoyer, a Fidelis Advisory Board member and Vice President for Economic Innovation at West Virginia University said. “Thanks to Dan, Bengt and Pete and the entire Fidelis team for their diligent effort to make this happen. This will allow West Virginia to continue to be an energy leader while creating new energy technology jobs for our citizens and be a keystone to our “all in” energy strategy. It is also a great example of how West Virginia leaders work together to make things happen for our state. This project required vision and leadership at all levels to make it happen including Senator Manchin’s and Senator Capito’s national energy and infrastructure vision and leadership, Governor Justice’s economic development vision and leadership and the vision and leadership of Senate President Blair and Speaker Hanshaw and their members. It also required diligent work from the state and local staff level to include John Musgrave and the Mason County team. We look forward to Fidelis creating many great economic opportunities for our state!”
“The citizens of Mason County are elated with the announcement of Fidelis New Energy selecting Mason County, West Virginia, for its multibillion-dollar state of the art carbon neutral, clean hydrogen complex,” John Musgrave, the Executive Director of the Mason County Development Authority said. “The selection of the Mason County site is the result of a team effort with National, State, and County teams working together to bring this outstanding international company to West Virginia. The project’s four-phase construction plan will not only provide substantial employment opportunities for the local workforce, with 800 full-time jobs and 4,200 construction workers, but it will also have a major positive impact on the region’s economy. The influx of workers and the establishment of the facility will bring additional business, industry, and new technology to Mason County, the state, and the surrounding region. This excludes the employment in data centers and greenhouses.”