Aurora Hydrogen secures $12.85 million CAD from Shell, Chevron to build demonstration plant

Aurora Hydrogen co-founders
Aurora is developing clean hydrogen tech without consuming water.

Edmonton-based cleantech startup Aurora Hydrogen has raised $12.85 million CAD ($10 million USD) in a Series A funding round led by Energy Innovation Capital.

The financing also saw participation from Williams, Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

We are producing low-cost hydrogen at the point of use, at the exact scale required, and without generating any CO2.”
– Andrew Gillis, co-founder of Aurora Hydrogen

Led by co-founders Erin Bobicki, Murray Thomson, and Andrew Gillis, Aurora is developing clean hydrogen production technology that uses microwave energy without generating any carbon emissions or consuming water. Aurora touts its offering as highly scalable, as units can be installed everywhere—from small fuelling stations to large industrial applications.

Hydrogen production using Aurora’s technology, according to the company, has the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by over 900 million tonnes per year. Aurora claims that it also uses 80 percent less electricity than electrolysis, the conventional method of producing clean hydrogen. Unlike electrolysis, Aurora’s processes also don’t require water as a feedstock.

“At Aurora, we are producing low-cost hydrogen at the point of use, at the exact scale required, and without generating any CO2,” said Gillis. “We use existing energy pipelines and distribution systems to move the energy, then produce hydrogen where it’s needed, eliminating the need for any new costly hydrogen transportation infrastructure.”

This recent funding is earmarked for Aurora to build and operate a 200 kg-H2/day demonstration plant for field trials in Edmonton. Aurora said that current hydrogen production methods are either expensive and distributed or low-cost and centralized, requiring additional costs for transportation.

RELATED: Hydrogen production tech startup Ekona Power closes $79 million Series A

Aurora also noted that its technology will provide low-cost hydrogen at the point of use, accelerating the path to decarbonization in heavy transportation, residential and commercial heating, and others.

Aurora, which was founded in 2021, joins a growing number of companies in Canada looking to tackle hydrogen energy.

Other players in the space include Ekona Power, which announced a $79 million Series A round in February; Hydra Energy, which secured $15 million in May last year; as well as Loop Energy, which received $9.75 million from PacificCan in May this year.

Aurora’s $10 million Series A round follows the company securing an undisclosed amount of grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in January.

In May, Aurora also graduated from the Creative Destruction Lab-Calgary Energy program, representing one of the six companies that completed the accelerator.

Featured image from Aurora Hydrogen’s website.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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