Major hydrogen initiatives underway at US Department of Energy

DOE announces 52M for 31 hydrogen projects; issues RFI for projects to which Avangrid responds

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $52.5 million to fund 31 projects to advance next-generation clean hydrogen technologies and support DOE’s recently announced Hydrogen Energy Earthshot initiative. The first Earthshot, Hydrogen Shot, which was launched one month ago, seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade (1 1 1).

Hydrogen is a clean fuel that—when combined with oxygen in a fuel cell—produces electricity with water and heat as by-products. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind. These qualities make it an attractive fuel option and input for transportation, electricity generation and industrial applications, such as in trucks, buildings, and manufacturing.

The 31 projects that DOE is funding will focus on bridging technical gaps in hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and utilization technologies, including fuel cells.

The DOE funding includes $36 million from the Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and $16.5 million from the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM).

The complete list of companies selected, along with the funding amounts they received, is available here for awards from the EERE and here for awards from the FECM.

Avangrid submits several projects for consideration

In related news, Avandrid announced that it has submitted multiple responses as part of a DOE Request for Information (RFI) which was also issued last month. Submissions for the RFI were due on July 7.

The DOE RFI is intended to assist DOE’s Hydrogen Program in further defining the scope and priorities of its initiatives to accelerate the production, storage, delivery, and end use of clean, affordable hydrogen in the United States. Specifically, this RFI sought input on viable hydrogen demonstration and deployment projects. Avangrid submitted several ideas, which are outlined below.

Connecticut — Electrolyzer and Hydrogen Storage 

  • The project proposes constructing a 20-MW electrolyzer and hydrogen storage facility for its Connecticut gas and electric utilities, potentially powered by renewable energy from offshore wind and supplemented by additional solar or grid-based renewable electricity. It is estimated the project could produce roughly 2.9 million kg of hydrogen per year, yielding an annual emissions reduction of approximately 25,000 tons of CO2 and potentially creating 400 – 800 jobs in economically disadvantaged communities. 

New York – Utilizing Hydrogen for Transportation in Rochester

  • In collaboration with local area transportation authorities in Rochester, New York, Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) is assessing opportunities to construct a multi-use hydrogen production and distribution facility, which could support a range of hydrogen uses, including transportation applications to meet zero-emissions fleet goals.

 Maine – Exploring Hydrogen for Multiple Applications 

  • In Maine, AVANGRID’s local subsidiary, Central Maine Power (CMP), has begun exploring how to collaboratively help advance green hydrogen consumption in existing manufacturing processes, for enhanced renewable natural gas production, and in transportation applications such as trucking and aviation. 

Gulf Coast – Leveraging Avangrid Renewables Wind Generation to Develop Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia

  • Representing its nationwide presence and leading renewables fleet, Avangrid Renewables has additionally identified opportunities to support green hydrogen for industrial use on the Gulf Coast and provide cleaner solutions that strengthen the U.S.’s domestic energy leadership. For instance, a large-scale electrolysis project in Corpus Christi, Texas would convert low-cost Texas wind power into green hydrogen and ultimately into green ammonia. The ambitious commercial-scale project demonstrates the scalability of the technology, its path to cost-competitiveness, and green hydrogen’s value as an important component in an economywide clean energy transition.

 Oregon – Leveraging Klamath Cogeneration Plant for Hydrogen Production

  • In Oregon, AVANGRID’s RFI response proposes the colocation of green hydrogen production at Avangrid Renewables’ Klamath Cogeneration Plant. The intent would be to make the facility a source for fuel flexibility as the combined-cycle natural gas plant balances the intermittency of the energy generated by AVANGRID’s 1,300 MW Northwest wind farm fleet. The proposed project would include a ~20 MW electrolyzer to enable a two percent blend of green hydrogen into the plant’s fuel supply. This project has the potential to generate 3,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually.

“We believe the time for green hydrogen as a viable clean energy fuel has come,” AVANGRID CEO Dennis V. Arriola said. “Our partners at Iberdrola in Spain and at ScottishPower in the UK are already developing commercial scale green hydrogen projects.  For example, Iberdrola is building the largest plant producing green hydrogen for industrial use in Europe. AVANGRID’s access to this global expertise, combined with our U.S. based partners and supporters, provides us with a unique advantage to help accelerate the commercial production of green hydrogen in the U.S.”

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