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Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance spearheading effort to secure up to $2 billion in funding for clean hydrogen hub project

February 9, 2022

Clean hydrogen hub will bring thousands of jobs, billions in economic investment to the state and make Ohio a leader in the zero-emission economy

The Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance, a coalition comprised of energy producers, industrial consumers, research institutions, elected officials, and community leaders is spearheading a campaign to convince the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to locate a Clean Hydrogen Hub (CHH) in the state of Ohio. A total of $8 billion in funding for the creation of CHHs was included in the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence (MHCE), Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), Dominion Energy, and Cleveland State University formed the Alliance in mid-January. Since then, more than 70 public and private sector entities have joined the group including the Battelle Memorial Institute, Babcock and Wilcox, Encino Energy, Columbia Gas, Kent State University, and Travel Centers of America. More information about the Alliance including a complete membership list is available at www.oh2hub.org.

SARTA CEO Kirt Conrad, a leading expert in the use of hydrogen fuel cells in the transportation space, explained that a CHH is a region in which various users of hydrogen across industrial, transport and energy markets work together to innovate, collaborate, and develop the workforce and skills needed to support a robust hydrogen industry.

“The CHH funding in the IIJA creates the opportunity for Ohio and Ohioans to reap the economic and environmental benefits that will flow from the federal government’s commitment to and massive investment in the development of clean hydrogen technology,” Mr. Conrad said.

According to the Alliance, an Ohio-based CHH will generate billions of dollars in public and private sector investment, fuel hydrogen and zero emission R&D, create and preserve thousands of skilled jobs, lead to a significant reduction in emissions, maximize use of Ohio’s bountiful natural gas resources, and enable leading transportation providers, energy producers, steelmakers, refineries, paper mills, and manufacturers to meet their carbon reduction goals.  

“Clean hydrogen fuel and technologies to produce and use it will play a critical role as the world works to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Babcock & Wilcox Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Young said. “B&W is proud to be a member of the Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance and we believe our BrightLoopTM hydrogen generation and BrightGenTM hydrogen combustion technologies are ideally suited to support the Alliance’s mission of creating a hydrogen hub in Ohio.”

Jackie Stewart, Director of External Affairs for Encino Energy said the company was pleased to support the Alliance’s campaign. “As the fourth largest private producer of natural gas and oil in the United States with all our operations in Ohio, we believe that natural gas is the most reliable feedstock to the development and deployment of clean hydrogen,” she commented. Natural gas will continue to play a critical role in powering the United States and the world, and we are excited to pursue this opportunity as we stand with the Ohio Clean Hydrogen Hub Alliance as a proud partner and advocate toward this effort.”

The members of the Alliance believe Ohio’s vibrant manufacturing sector, abundant natural resources, skilled workforce, world-class research institutions, and existing end-users of hydrogen including SARTA which operates one of the nation’s largest fleets of hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses, makes the state an ideal location for a hub.

While clearly a top-tier candidate for a CHH, Mr. Conrad said the Alliance will intensify its effort to build broad-based support for an Ohio-based hub because competition for the billions of dollars on the table will be fierce. “West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, New York, and a number of other states have announced they will submit proposals for a hub,” he noted. “Our goal is to ensure that Ohio is in the best possible position to secure a CHH when the selection process begins.”

The DOE will issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the clean hydrogen hub initiative on or before May 15, 2022.  

“Clean hydrogen is now an integral component of America’s long-term energy strategy,” he said. “We can either be a leader in the hydrogen-fueled zero emission economy of the 21st Century or we can be left standing at the side of the road as the future drives by. The members of the Alliance firmly believe Ohio should lead.”

For more information, please contact Kirt Conrad at 330-458-1047/kconrad@sartaonline.com or visit www.oh2hub.org