Multibillion $ hydrogen hub launch in the US

20 December 2023

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, “a key pillar of Bidenomics”, the US Department of Energy has announced up to $7 billion in potential funding to launch seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) to accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of low-cost, clean hydrogen. Funded by the Biden Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Federal investment would be matched by recipients to leverage a total of nearly $50 billion.

Above: Hydrogen hubs selected for further negotiation

The projects selected for further negotiation are:

  • Appalachian Hydrogen Hub (Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2); West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania) — The Appalachian Hydrogen Hub would leverage the region’s ample access to low-cost natural gas to produce low-cost clean hydrogen and permanently store the associated carbon emissions. The strategic location of this H2Hub and the development of hydrogen pipelines, multiple hydrogen fueling stations, and permanent CO2 storage also have the potential to drive down the cost of hydrogen distribution and storage. Amount: up to $925 million.

Participants include: Battelle (prime contractor), Air Liquide, The Chemours Company, CNX Resources Corp, Dominion Energy Ohio, Empire Diversified Energy, EQT Corporation, Fidelis New Energy, First Mode, Hog Lick Aggregates, Hope Gas Inc., Independence Hydrogen Inc, KeyState Energy, MPLX, Plug Power, TC Energy, Allegheny Science & Technology, GTI Energy.

  • California Hydrogen Hub (Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES); California) — The California Hydrogen Hub would leverage California’s leadership in clean energy technology to produce hydrogen exclusively from renewable energy and biomass. Amount: up to $1.2 billion.

ARCHES LLC is prime contractor. Participants include a wide range of energy research organisations, communities, trades, utilities, for-profit companies and non-governmental bodies. Notable corporate participants include Amazon, Brookfield, EDP, Hyundai, PG&E.

  • Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub (HyVelocity H2Hub; Texas) — The envisaged Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub is centred on the Houston region, the traditional energy capital of the United States. It would help kickstart the clean hydrogen economy with its plans for large-scale hydrogen production using both natural gas with carbon capture and renewables-powered electrolysis, leveraging the Gulf Coast region’s abundant renewable energy and natural gas supply to drive down the cost of hydrogen—a crucial step to achieving market lift-off. Amount: up to $1.2 billion.

HyVelocity, Inc is prime contractor. Participants include: AES Corporation, Air Liquide, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Fortescue Future Industries, Invenergy, Mitsubishi Power Americas, Orsted, Shell, Sempra Infrastructure and GTI Energy (administrator).

  • Heartland Hydrogen Hub (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota) — The Heartland Hydrogen Hub would leverage the region’s abundant energy resources to help decarbonise the agricultural sector’s production of fertiliser, decrease the regional cost of clean hydrogen, and advance the use of clean hydrogen in power generation and for cold climate space heating. Amount: up to $925 million.

Prime contractor is University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Resource Center. Other participants include: Xcel Energy, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, TC Energy, Bakken Energy.

  • Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2); Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey) — The Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub aims to help unlock hydrogen-driven decarbonisation in the Mid-Atlantic while repurposing historic oil infrastructure and using existing rights-of-way. It plans to develop renewable hydrogen production facilities from renewable and nuclear electricity using both established and innovative electrolyser technologies, where it can help reduce costs and drive further technology adoption. Amount: up to $750 million.

Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub, Inc is main contractor. Other participants include: Air Liquide, Bloom Energy, Braskem, Chesapeake Utilities, The City of Philadelphia, DRS, DuPont, Enbridge, Holtec, Monroe, PBF Energy, PGW, PSEG and SEPTA.

  • Midwest Hydrogen Hub (Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2); Illinois, Indiana, Michigan) — Located in a key US industrial and transportation corridor, the Midwest Hydrogen Hub aims to enable decarbonisation through strategic hydrogen applications such as steel and glass production, power generation, refining, heavy-duty transportation, and sustainable aviation fuel. This H2Hub plans to produce hydrogen by leveraging diverse and abundant energy sources, including renewable energy, natural gas, and low-cost nuclear energy. Amount: up to $1 billion.

MachH2 is prime contractor. Participants include: ADL Ventures, Air Liquide, ArcelorMittal, Argonne National Laboratory, Big Rivers Electric, Bloom Energy, bp America, ComEd, Constellation, Exelon, GTI Energy, Holtec, Hydrogen Technologies Inc., Invenergy, NiSource, Plug Power, Rockwell Automation, plus universities.

  • Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNW H2; Washington, Oregon, Montana) — The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub plans to leverage the region’s abundant renewable resources to produce clean hydrogen exclusively via electrolysis. Its anticipated widescale use of electrolysers will play a key role in driving down electrolyser costs, making the technology more accessible to other producers, and reducing the cost of hydrogen production. Amount: up to $1 billion.

Prime contractor is Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association. Participants include: Amazon, bp America, Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewably Generated E-Fuels (CHARGE) Network, Puget Sound Energy, Plug Power, Renewable Hydrogen Alliance (RHA), Washington Green Hydrogen Alliance, Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Together with tax incentives in the IRA and ongoing research and development efforts across the federal government, it is hoped that the hubs will help drive private sector investment in clean H2.

DOE cautions that selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by it to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time, it says.

As well as the hubs, to further support DOE’s Hydrogen Shot, which aims to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kg in one decade, DOE has announced other initiatives to support clean hydrogen R&D.

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