Newcastle-based green hydrogen pioneer GeoPura has received £36m investment from a team of industry leaders led by GM Ventures, the investment arm of General Motors.

The round was co-led by Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital with participation from SWEN CP and Siemens Energy Ventures and allows GeoPura to scale its green hydrogen business, which is replacing diesel-fuelled generators.

GeoPura currently provides hydrogen power from Newcastle to Balfour Beatty, HS2, National Grid and the BBC among other sustainability-driven customers, replacing traditional diesel generators with its Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU) technology. 

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The HPUs are used for temporary, supplementary, off grid and backup power. GeoPura plans to grow the use of hydrogen into other hard-to-decarbonise areas of the energy system, such as EV charging and supplementary grid power, as economies continue to electrify. 

With hubs in Nottingham and Newcastle, the £36m investment will enable GeoPura to mass manufacture HPUs alongside partner Siemens Energy, increase the production of green hydrogen to fuel the units and drive green skills in the North East.

GeoPura plans to deploy a fleet of over 3,600 HPUs by 2033, providing clean, low-cost reliable power, and displacing more than six million tonnes of CO2 emissions through their operation over their life.

In response to customer demand, the company aims to bring a number of new products to market, addressing smaller and larger power requirements. The company will work closely with its new strategic partners to advance the technology needed to enable the mass electrification that underpins decarbonisation.

Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura, said: “Green hydrogen is too often seen as a technology that will happen in the future, but GeoPura and our partners are delivering a commercially viable technology, today. The world can’t afford to wait a decade for green fuels to scale – we must act now.

“This investment allows us to build on our installed base of HPUs and hydrogen production infrastructure to stimulate the green hydrogen economy, and then expand the use of clean fuels into other hard-to-decarbonise areas of our energy system.

The Northern Echo: GeoPura productionGeoPura production (Image: Press release)

“We have secured the right mix of investors, forming strategic partnerships that not only provide the funds to enable us to scale rapidly, but also the skills and resources to accelerate the transition to zero emission fuels. With the support of our investors we can help turn the market on its head and build a green hydrogen economy this decade, not next.”

“The need for green hydrogen energy solutions is expanding as a wide range of customers move toward replacing diesel-powered sources,” said Wade Sheffer, Managing Director, GM Ventures.

“Our investment in GeoPura demonstrates our focus on scaling breakthrough innovations that can advance sustainability, while supporting GM’s progress toward an all-electric, zero-emissions future. GeoPura’s HPUs and GM’s HYDROTEC fuel cell expertise have the potential to provide better energy solutions across industries.”

Green hydrogen is widely recognised as essential to achieve global climate goals, potentially supplying 25% of energy demand by 2050, with a $10tn addressable market, according to Goldman Sachs.

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The UK government has set its own target to hit 10GW of low carbon hydrogen capacity this decade. However, there remain limited commercial technologies able to capitalise on this demand. GeoPura set out to prove green hydrogen as a commercially viable solution, today, to replace existing fossil fuels. 

GeoPura has grown rapidly since delivering its first HPU in collaboration with Siemens Energy in 2019, generating hydrogen and transporting the fuel to customers for use in its HPUs – customers then rent the units and pay for the fuel used. 

The company is initially targeting sectors with the highest diesel use today, such as construction, infrastructure, outdoor events, and back-up power. It is also providing a solution to power commercial EV charging, where the local electricity network isn’t capable. The only by-product is pure water and heat.