WHIPPANY, N.J., (March 10, 2022) — Suburban Propane Partners L.P. announced it purchased a 25% equity stake in Independence Hydrogen Inc. a veteran-owned and -operated supplier of gaseous hydrogen solutions, for $30 million. The partnership also announced the creation of a new subsidiary, Suburban Renewable Energy LLC, as part of its long-term strategic goal of building out a renewable energy platform.
Suburban Propane is committed to investing in and fostering innovative solutions to support the economy-wide transition to a sustainable energy future, while also advancing the clean energy benefits of propane to support the transition. Hydrogen is a critical energy source to decarbonize the material handling, transportation and heavy industry sectors, and to provide grid resiliency as backup power and long-duration storage to enable the deployment of intermittent renewable energy sources.
Independence Hydrogen Inc. is a veteran-owned and operated, privately held company developing a gaseous hydrogen ecosystem to deliver locally sourced hydrogen to local markets, with a primary focus on material handling and backup power applications. Independence Hydrogen's mission is to make communities cleaner, safer, and more energy resilient by providing a reliable supply of affordable hydrogen with an end-to-end carbon intensity score. The team of combat-experienced military veterans is committed to the highest standards for safety, integrity and service to others.
"We believe in the role that hydrogen will play in the move toward decarbonization across many sectors of the economy. In line with our commitment to the military veterans' community through our SuburbanCares corporate pillar, we are extremely excited to partner with the team at Independence Hydrogen to help them achieve their vision and mission of localized hydrogen production and distribution," said Michael Stivala, Suburban Propane president and CEO. "Suburban Propane's logistics expertise, unwavering focus on safety and localized service model are perfectly situated to support the adoption of hydrogen solutions in the marketplace and accelerate the growth of Independence Hydrogen. This investment is the most recent demonstration of our ongoing commitment to lead the industry in innovation as society transitions to a renewable energy future."
"I have the honor of leading a team of fellow veterans with fierce execution skills, and we are on a mission to make our communities safer and more energy resilient with reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly hydrogen," said William Lehner, Independence Hydrogen's founder and CEO. "Suburban Propane joins our existing investors at Hivers & Strivers, a venture group that backs military veterans exclusively, to create a true partnership with a shared vision to supply clean hydrogen locally in resilient, networked hubs for powering the American energy transition. We are excited to collaborate with Suburban Propane who is a force multiplier with many synergies to further accelerate our rapid expansion."
Suburban Propane's formation of a new wholly owned subsidiary, Suburban Renewable Energy LLC, will serve as the platform for its investments in innovative, renewable energy technologies and businesses. In addition to the investment in Independence Hydrogen, Suburban Renewables will also hold the partnership's 39% equity stake in Oberon Fuels, acquired in September 2020. Oberon is a developer and producer of renewable dimethyl ether (rDME) which, when blended with propane, can significantly reduce emissions and carbon intensity. Additionally, rDME has the potential to be an efficient and cost-effective carrier of hydrogen. The partnership is continuing to invest in Oberon's technology and is working toward the commercial sale of propane +rDME blended products.