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Connecticut Partners With New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to Develop Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Proposal

By March 25, 2022 10   min read  (1940 words)

March 25, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Connecticut Partners With New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to Develop Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Proposal

Multi-State Coalition Will Pursue $8 Billion in Federal Infrastructure Law Funding Available to Establish Regional Hubs To Expand Use of Clean Hydrogen

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont announced today that Connecticut is joining New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to develop a proposal to become one of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs designated through the federal Clean Hydrogen Hubs program included in the 2021 federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The IIJA includes historic levels of funding for hydrogen research and development as well as deployment of clean hydrogen infrastructure.

Hydrogen can be produced electrolytically from renewable or nuclear sources and has the potential to provide an emission-free energy source for otherwise hard-to-decarbonize sectors, such as long-distance transportation. Connecticut’s longstanding leadership in fuel cell development and manufacturing positions the state to be a leader in hydrogen development as fuel cell technology can produce, store, and generate electricity from hydrogen.

The IIJA includes $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will create jobs to expand use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond.

As part of the multi-state collaboration, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will partner with Connecticut entities representing the entire chain of hydrogen producers, end users, technology and equipment manufacturers; utilities; and the research and development community including university leaders.

The partners will work together to accomplish the following:

  • Define the shared vision and plans for the regional hydrogen hub that can advance safe green hydrogen energy innovation and investment to address climate change, while improving the health, resiliency, and economic development of the region’s residents.
  • Perform research and analysis necessary to support the hub proposal and align on approach to quantifying greenhouse gas emissions reductions as a result of deploying this technology.
  • Develop a framework to ensure the ecosystem for innovation, production, infrastructure, and related workforce development is shared across all partner states.
  • Support environmentally responsible opportunities to develop hydrogen, in accordance with participating states’ policies.

“Connecticut has long been a leader in addressing the climate crisis and in researching and developing innovative technologies, and this exciting partnership unites both of those key leadership areas,” Governor Lamont said. “We’re proud to share a commitment to climate leadership, fuel cell innovation, and clean energy jobs with our neighboring states, which will position us competitively to bring federal investment in clean hydrogen to our region.”

“New York is proud to lead the way in forming bold partnerships to combat the existential threat of climate change,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Expanding the hydrogen market is critical to New York’s aggressive pursuit of clean-energy alternatives that will supercharge our economy and advance our climate goals. Coalitions like this one serve as a model to the nation on the collaboration that is required to meet this moment and bring us closer to a carbon-neutral future, and I thank Governors Lamont, Baker and Murphy for their partnership.”

“The urgency of climate change and the implementation of our net-zero by 2050 strategy requires a comprehensive approach, which includes the research and deployment of technologies that will allow more cost-effective clean energy in the future,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “Today’s announcement is a critical step for regional collaboration in integrating this clean energy resource into our existing climate strategy, and Massachusetts looks forward to working with our state partners on this initiative.”

“Clean hydrogen has the promise to expand New Jersey’s diverse clean energy portfolio,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “Clean hydrogen technology has the potential to improve net greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollutant impacts. Joining together with our regional partners will allow us to build a strong coalition for the development of clean hydrogen technology and cultivate economic growth and opportunity for New Jersey.”

“DEEP is looking forward to partnering with clean hydrogen leaders in Connecticut to develop a competitive regional approach to clean hydrogen development,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This coordinated, multi-state approach will help us leverage federal dollars to invest in this technology and maximize the potential impact by coordinating with coalition partners across the region on ideas and projects. Connecticut needs to make significant reductions in its carbon emissions in order to get back on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions goals, and I’m excited for the potential role hydrogen can play in helping us get there.”

The coalition of states continue to seek additional public and private partners in the region and focus on coordinating the regional fuel cell innovation ecosystem, integrating offshore wind and solar photovoltaic materials into hydrogen production and deploying hydrogen for use in transportation, including potential deployment in medium and heavy-duty vehicles, heavy industry, power generation and maritime applications, or other appropriate uses consistent with decarbonization efforts. Future consortium partners may include utilities, electrolyzer suppliers, fuel cell solution providers, transportation, fueling infrastructure and industrial partners, government agencies, community organizations, institutes of higher education, community colleges, vocational schools, and non-profit organizations.

DEEP is also seeking to engage the broader public and interested stakeholders in this effort by seeking input on hydrogen opportunities as part of the Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) process. DEEP will be holding a virtual technical meeting in the CES proceeding on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, to gather input on the hydrogen opportunities the state should pursue, including as part of this regional collaboration. More information on the meeting is available on DEEP’s website.

The members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation applauded the announcement.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said, “This innovative partnership will ensure Connecticut is well-positioned to secure federal funding to mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and grow well-paying jobs. This is why the Connecticut delegation worked tirelessly to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and this legislation is delivering on its promise to transform our infrastructure and economy for generations to come. I am committed to working with Governor Lamont and my Congressional colleagues to deliver this funding to our region.”

Senator Chris Murphy said, “We need bold, ambitious action to save our planet, and Connecticut is helping lead the way in innovative technology to address the climate crisis. I’m proud that the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes historic amounts of funding for clean hydrogen development. This is a smart partnership for our state that will help create clean energy jobs and keep us moving in the right direction.”

Congressman John Larson said, “We are primed to become one of the regional hydrogen hubs established through the bipartisan infrastructure law. Connecticut is the fuel cell capital of the nation, and I’m proud to co-chair the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus in the House. I commend Governor Lamont for collaborating with our neighbors to pursue this clean energy to address our global climate crisis.”

Congressman Joe Courtney said, “When we talk about becoming more energy efficient, more energy independent, and better stewards of our environment, these are the kinds of serious investments we need to be making if we really want to achieve those goals. Clean hydrogen has the potential help fuel major activity in sectors like long-distance transportation and more, and Connecticut has a chance to lead the U.S. and the world in expanding its use thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Our state has a blue chip manufacturing and research sector, and we’re already primed to become a leader in producing other forms of clean energy. This is exactly why we passed the IIJA, to upgrade our transportation and energy sectors and make them competitive for the future, and Connecticut is the perfect place to start making that happen.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said, “Scientists, researchers, and small businesses across Connecticut’s clean energy sector continue to show what they are capable of when they receive the right support. As chair of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have helped secure historic funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will fight the climate crisis and create good-paying jobs in clean energy. I applaud the leadership of Governor Lamont and Commissioner Dykes in establishing this partnership, and I look forward to supporting their pursuit of a Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub for Connecticut and the Northeast.”

Congressman Jim Himes said, “Connecticut fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. With one of the most educated populations in the country, Connecticut and the surrounding region have the human capital and infrastructure to support an investment into clean hydrogen. Recent fluctuations in the prince of oil have highlighted why we need to transition to clean energy for economic, environmental, and national security reasons, and Connecticut stands ready to do our part.”

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes said, “Combatting the climate crisis demands bold, innovative leadership. With this regional partnership, our state will have the opportunity to work with our neighbors and develop the framework for cutting edge clean energy projects. I look forward to continuing my work in Congress to secure funds for clean hydrogen initiatives and other climate solutions.”

Project partners in Connecticut also welcomed the news of the proposed hub.

Dr. Jasna Jankovic, assistant professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and one of the faculty at the Center for Clean Energy Engineering at UConn, said, “UConn has a long tradition in research and education in hydrogen technologies. We are home of the Center for Clean Energy Engineering and the Innovation Partnership Building at the Tech Park, where some of the world’s leading experts in hydrogen technology perform their research. We are highly engaged with regional and global industrial partners, national laboratories, academic institutions and community, solving real challenges in hydrogen technologies, but also inspiring and preparing new generations for professions in sustainable energy.”

Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia said, “Connecticut is a global center for hydrogen and fuel cell innovation, including hydrogen-powered fuel cells being manufactured here that have been on NASA’s Apollo and space shuttle missions since the 1960s. We look forward to working with our Northeast regional partners, including our respective green banks, to submit a proposal into the pending DOE H2Hubs RFP to continue to build-out nation-leading clean hydrogen and fuel cell industries.”

Eversource CEO and President Joe Nolan said, “We share Connecticut’s goal of a greener energy future and are always focused on innovative solutions that benefit our customers and advance clean energy. We applaud Governor Lamont and DEEP Commissioner Dykes for partnering with our neighboring states in an effort to develop a clean hydrogen hub, and we look forward to playing a role in this important ground-breaking initiative to help achieve aggressive carbon-reduction goals in the region that will benefit customers throughout the Northeast.”

Dr. Joel M. Rinebold, director of energy with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, said, “Connecticut is in an exceptionally favorable position to develop a clean hydrogen hub using its world class research facilities, advanced manufacturing companies, and strong supply chain. The hydrogen technology would be fueled with sustainable, zero carbon energy resources. In addition, the proposed hydrogen hub would have resources for the deployment of clean, lower-cost energy to distressed communities. Ultimately, this initiative will help to improve air quality, decarbonize our energy systems, increase energy reliability, and create high-quality jobs in Connecticut.”

Sathya Motupally, chief operating officer of HyAxiom (formerly known as Doosan Fuel Cell America), said, “HyAxiom is completely vested in the power of hydrogen as a green fuel, and we are investing in the future of both hydrogen production by electrolysis and power generation using hydrogen fuel cells. We are very pleased to be a part of the Northeast’s push to establish a hydrogen hub in our area where majority of the country’s hydrogen players are based.”

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