A Canadian utility has agreed to begin testing a new technology developed through an American startup to extract hydrogen from seawater. A notoriously difficult process, which has previously been looked at but never fully commercially explored.  If it works however, could provide a new source of clean energy for coastal communities.

NB Power, the largest electric utility in the Maritime province of New Brunswick, will test the proprietary technology from Joi Scientific Inc. The startup has released few details of how its “Hydrogen 2.0” process works, but Chief Executive Officer Traver Kennedy said it’s more efficient than electrolysis and doesn’t require pre-treating the seawater.

It has been stated that the hydrogen will be burned in internal combustion engines to generate electricity. The utility sees Joi’s technology as a potential way to back up clean power and cut carbon dioxide emissions.