Liquid hydrogen has long been a pillar of the space industry as it plays an important role in rocket propulsion. But as the hydrogen market diversifies, the number of companies that manufacture liquid hydrogen is also growing.
The City of Titusville will be the latest beneficiary of this budding pocket of the economy.
On Friday, GenH2 closed on a deal to transform an old car dealership property into its new global headquarters. The company acquired the old Eckler’s Corvette property, which has been dormant since 2014.
“Since we actually grew up and came from the hydrogen economy here at NASA at Kennedy Space Center, we thought it was only appropriate that we did something closer to home,” said GenH2 CEO and founder Cody Bateman. “Plus, a lot of our engineers already live here.”
Bateman, like many of his colleagues at GenH2, formerly worked for NASA before branching off into new endeavors.
He, along with Ted Soliday, a product and program manager with the company, gave Spectrum News 13 an exclusive tour of the future headquarters site Monday.
It will undergo a nearly $35 million revamping to fit the needs of the company as it looks to rapidly grow in northern Brevard County.
Phase 1 will cost about $4 million and will involve restoration and construction work on the main building, demolishing an old warehouse and updating some of the cosmetic features of a third building on the property.
The main building will feature an open, glass exterior and a space on the bottom floor that will be open to the public to see some of the actual work being done by GenH2. Bateman said the goal is to help educate the public about hydrogen energy.
“We’ll be able to bring people here, have educational scenarios where we will take them through and show them step by step and line them up so that they can learn more about hydrogen and especially the safety of the hydrogen,” Bateman said.
There will also be space in the upper levels of the facility where GenH2 can conduct proprietary research on the hydrogen production units, spearheaded by Chief Technology Officer Dr. Ali Raissi, a former research faculty member at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Energy Research Center.
“(He’s) coming in and designing our hydrogen production solutions. We won’t actually be producing hydrogen here in this building, but this is where all the initial lab work and research is done, back here in the back,” Bateman said.