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The Biden administration has selected seven projects as recipients of up to $7 billion to create hydrogen hubs across the U.S., kickstarting a sector capable of decarbonizing energy and pushing the nation toward its net-zero emissions goal.
The selected projects, which will match the federal investment with nearly $50 billion combined, will now move into the negotiation phase.
Aiming for nationwide commercial deployment, the hubs will put clean hydrogen producers and consumers together with connected infrastructure to support production, storage, delivery and end-use of clean hydrogen, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Intentions are to eventually connect the hubs, creating a vast nationwide network.
“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,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement Oct. 13.
Together, the hubs—about two-thirds of which plan to produce electrolytic hydrogen (green from renewable energy)—are targeting more than 3 million metric tons of hydrogen per year. If successful, the production would move the U.S. one-third of the way toward its 2030 clean hydrogen production goal. The hubs are also expected to eliminate about 25 million metric tons of CO2 emissions from end uses annually, according to the White House, which said the amount is roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars.
Projects selected for negotiation include:
Appalachian Hydrogen Hub, up to $925 million. The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) spans the states of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The hub intends to leverage the region’s ample low-cost natural gas supplies to produce hydrogen and permanently store associated carbon emissions.
With Battelle as the prime contractor, lead project development partners include Air Liquide, The Chemours Co., Clearway Energy Group, CNX Resources Corp., Dominion Energy Ohio, Empire Diversified Energy, EQT Corp., Fidelis New Energy, First Mode, Hog Lick Aggregates, Hope Gas Inc., Independence Hydrogen Inc., KeyState Energy, MPLX, Plug Power and TC Energy.
California Hydrogen Hub, up to $1.2 billion. Located in California, the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) hub will produce hydrogen from renewable energy and biomass. It aims to decarbonize public transportation, heavy duty trucking and port operations—all sources of air pollution in the state.
Partners include Air Liquide, Amazon, Brookfield Renewable US, Chevron, General Motors, Microsoft, Nikola, Plug Power and others.
Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub, up to $1.2 billion. The HyVelocity H2Hub in Texas is located in the Houston region. Partners plan to produce hydrogen using both natural gas with carbon capture (blue hydrogen) and with electrolysis using renewable energy (green hydrogen).
The hub’s industry partners include AES Corp., Air Liquide, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Mitsubishi Power, Ørsted and Sempra Infrastructure. Other key partners include GTI Energy, Center for Houston’s Future, the Houston Advanced Research Center, Port Houston and The University of Texas at Austin.
Heartland Hydrogen Hub, up to $925 million. Spanning the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the Heartland hub will “help decarbonize the agricultural sector’s production of fertilizer, decrease the regional cost of clean hydrogen and advance the use of clean hydrogen in electric generation and for cold climate space heating,” the DOE said.
Partners include Xcel Energy, Marathon Petroleum Corp. and TC Energy, working with the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Resource Center.
Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub, up to $750 million. Located in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic hub plans to use renewable and nuclear electricity to develop renewable hydrogen production facilities, using established and innovative electrolyzer technologies.
Partners include Air Liquide, Bloom Energy, DuPont, Enbridge, Ørsted and others.
Midwest Hydrogen Hub, up to $1 billion. The hub in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan aims to decarbonize sectors that include steel and glass production, power generation, refining, heavy-duty transportation and sustainable aviation fuel. It intends to produce hydrogen utilizing renewable energy, natural gas and nuclear energy.
Partners include Air Liquide, Ameren Illinois, Constellation Energy Corp., Exxon Mobil, Plug Power and others.
Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub, up to $1 billion. Located in Washington, Oregon and Montana, the PNW H2 hub aims to put to use the region’s abundant renewable resources to produce clean hydrogen via electrolysis.
Partners include Air Liquide, Amazon, Mitsubishi Power Americas and others.
The hubs were selected based on criteria such as technical merit and impact, including an ability to deploy infrastructure and produce at least 50 metric tons of clean hydrogen per day and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; financial and market viability; workplan, including when the hub could begin operations; management team and project partners; and a community benefits plan, according to the DOE.
The projects must complete the negotiation process before funds are issued. The DOE warned it may cancel or rescind the selection for any reason during that time.
Funds to establish the hubs are from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Biden administration said the selected hubs “will catalyze more than $40 billion in private investment and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs—bringing the total public and private investment in hydrogen hubs to nearly $50 billion.”
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