Energy startup SGH2 has signed a deal with Lancaster officials to build a first-of-its-kind clean hydrogen production plant in the Antelope Valley.

The city of Lancaster will own a small stake in the plant, which will use high-temperature plasma torches to incinerate the city’s recycled waste, producing hydrogen as a byproduct. Other production methods are typically more expensive and can result in “dirty” hydrogen contaminated by toxic tars, according to the company.

SGH2’s method, originally developed by NASA, is effective on any kind of waste, including paper, plastic and textiles. The city of Lancaster is expected to save between $50 to $75 a ton in landfill-related costs.

Output from the plant will be used at refueling stations for hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles across California. In addition to powering certain engines, hydrogen is useful in manufacturing steel, cement and some plastics.

SGH2 claims the Lancaster plant will be able to produce up to 11,000 kilograms of hydrogen a day and 3.8 million kilograms a year – nearly three times more than any other green hydrogen facility.

“This is game-changing technology,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris in a statement. “It not only solves our air quality and climate challenges by producing pollution-free hydrogen. It also solves our plastics and waste problems by turning them into green hydrogen and does it cleaner and at costs far lower than any other green hydrogen producer.”

The facility will be built on a 5-acre industrial site at Ave M and 6th Street East. It will employ 35 full-time workers once operational and will provide 600 jobs during 18 months of construction. SGH2 is a subsidiary of Solena Group Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Construction firm Fluor, based in Texas, will provide front-end engineering and design for the plant. SGH2 anticipates breaking ground in the first quarter of 2021, start-up and commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2022, and full operations by the first quarter of 2023.