After lots of anticipation the US Department of Energy (DOE) has decided which regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) to award the $7bn funding to.
This funding was agreed upon with the hope to build a network of hydrogen producers, consumers and local connective infrastructure. In order to make this possible $7bn worth of funding has been made available to be given to 10 hubs selected from the DOE’s $8bn Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs programme.
The seven hubs that were successful were recently announced and the list includes, ARCH2, ARCHES, HyVelocity, Heartland, MACH2, MachH2, and PNWH2. These hubs will each receive between $400m and $1.25bn of the funds. The DOE says that these hubs were chosen because of the benefits they will provide, especially to the 2030 US hydrogen target. Altogether the companies selected will produce approximately three million tons of hydrogen every year, which will achieve producing just under a third of the 2030 US production target, whilst also reducing 25 million tons of Co2 emissions from end-uses per year.
The US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, commented, “Unlocking the full potential of hydrogen—a versatile fuel that can be made from almost any energy resource in virtually every part of the country—is crucial to achieving President Biden’s goal of American industry powered by American clean energy, ensuring less volatility and more affordable energy options for American families and businesses. With this historic investment, the Biden-Harris Administration is laying the foundation for a new, American-led industry that will propel the global clean energy transition while creating high quality jobs and delivering healthier communities in every pocket of the nation.”
The US DOE made it clear why each company was chosen. The first company, Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) a collective effort between West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, was awarded $925m.This company’s aim is to increase the region’s access to low-cost natural gas feedstock, end-user demand, workforce and technology capabilities, and the potential for carbon sequestration to produce blue hydrogen. This hub also has 15 partners, such as Plug Power, Bloom Energy, Air Liquide and Chemours. Furthermore, ARCH2 has stated that the hub is intended for one of the most economically deprived regions of the US, therefore, it aims to aid this area by creating more than 21,000 permanent jobs.
California’s Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) and HyVelocity Hub both received $1.2bn. Both companies have strong aims and purposes and both have very strong partnerships. The benefits of awarding these companies the funding is very clear and both will make a significant contribution to the hydrogen project, as well as helping the community around them.
Heartland Hydrogen Hub, which is planned for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, was awarded $925m for its aim to decarbonise the region’s fertiliser production with ammonia, decrease the cost of clean hydrogen and advance hydrogen’s use in electric generation and for heating.
The Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) was awarded $750m for their plan to focus on green and pink hydrogen.
Finally, both Pacific Northwest Regional Hydrogen Hub (PWNH2 Hub) and Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2) were both granted $1bn. PWNH2 is aiming to produce green hydrogen only, in order to decrease the cost of the electrolyser, whilst also looking to continue to reduce the cost of hydrogen production. Whilst MACH2 is looking to improve green, pink and blue hydrogen production pathways, along with the aim to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries, which are based along the US’ rust belt.
Everyone who commented on the decisions made, have agreed that the DOE made the right decision and achieved what they set out to do.
The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) President and CEO, Frank Wolak, commented, “The DOE has set in motion the creation of a new clean hydrogen economy that will help the country reach its decarbonisation goals while supporting our economic and national security. Recognising the utility of co-locating production facilities with end users, the hubs are diverse not just in feedstock and production pathways, but also geographically.”