w.fa. Hydrogen Hub Project Submits Federal Application | News, sports, jobs

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CHARLESTON – A consortium of natural gas and clean energy companies has taken the next steps in their plan to secure federal support for the hydrogen hub project.

Members of the West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition, including U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Shelley Moore Capito, and Gov. Jim Justice, announced Tuesday that the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Center has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations for a regional cleanup. Announcement of the hydrogen center financing opportunity.

The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, or ARCH2, has more than 40 partner companies in the natural gas, energy, and manufacturing sectors; West Virginia University and Marshall University; local transport authorities; and the Federal National Energy Technology Laboratory.

“West Virginians are incredibly proud of our long history as America’s energy powerhouse, and I’m thrilled that the Mountain State will continue to carry on that legacy as the home of a clean regional hydrogen hub.” Manchin said, DW.Va. “With the submission of ARCH2 to the Regional Clean Hydrogen Center Program, I am confident the Department of Energy will conclude that there is no place more appropriate to host the growth of this industry than the Appalachian region.”

“West Virginia is uniquely positioned to host a regional center for clean hydrogen, which I am confident will make an enormous impact in our communities, further strengthening our energy sector, and continuing the proud tradition of power generation in our state,” said Capito, RW.Va. “I look forward to the DOE’s evaluation of the ARCH2 application, and I will continue to support efforts to bring this project to the Mountain State.”

“I would like to congratulate the ARCH2 team for completing the application necessary to compete for a regional hydrogen center, which is an important step closer to advancing the future of energy production in West Virginia,” Justice said. “Creating a hydrogen hub enables our state to continue to be an energy powerhouse, and we are uniquely positioned to work closely with neighboring states. Thank you to all involved in our efforts to secure a bright future for energy production in West Virginia.”

The ARCH2 project, announced last September, will take advantage of the country’s access to natural gas supplies and existing infrastructure to manufacture blue hydrogen and store carbon emissions underground.

Blue hydrogen, one of many ways to make hydrogen, uses natural gas to extract hydrogen as a clean energy source for a number of industries, including steel and metal production. It can also be used for long-term energy storage using hydrogen fuel cells. The by-product of hydrogen production is water with zero carbon emissions. Instead of greenhouse gas emissions from the process emitted into the atmosphere, emissions will be collected through carbon capture and sequestration.

West Virginia is competing for a regional hydrogen center pilot project. The West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Alliance has submitted an application to the US Department of Energy in 2024 to land one of the regional centers. ARCH2 has until April 7 to submit a full application to the DOE. Preselection interviews will take place this summer, with selectors notified in the fall.

The federal project is funded by $9.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including up to $8 billion for the Regional Hydrogen Center Program. Each hub is required to demonstrate clean hydrogen production and to demonstrate the use of clean hydrogen. Lawmakers were able to introduce specific language that required at least one hub to be located in the Appalachian region.

Both Manchin and Capito have been active in negotiations with President Joe Biden over the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, also called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and signed into law at the end of 2024.

“While drafting and negotiating the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, developing hydrogen power and creating a hydrogen center in West Virginia was exactly the kind of impact I knew we could make,” Capito said. “Introducing the ARCH2 application is another step in the right direction, and something I consistently support.”

And the $737 billion Inflation Control Act, which Biden signed last summer and negotiated by Manchin, also expanded tax credits 45 quarters for carbon capture and sequestration projects. Changes to the 45Q tax credit include the dollar amount per ton for storage in brackish geological formations, utilization for industrial and energy projects.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act made these hubs possible, and my Inflation Reduction Act will ensure our country’s energy security by encouraging innovation in hydrogen and other groundbreaking energy technologies.” Manchin said.

Despite optimism about the potential benefits of the hydrogen hub, there remains doubt about whether the hydrogen manufacturing process can be made cost-effective and continue to encourage reliance on fossil fuels.

“The stage is set for America to join the emerging global clean hydrogen market, and there is a great deal of light on its implementation of the H2Hubs program,” Rachel Fakhry, a senior advocate for the climate and clean energy program at the National Resource Defense Council, wrote in a Jan. 10 post. “But it remains to be seen whether the hydrogen path we chart will support an affordable transition to a clean economy and benefits for our communities, or whether it will help subsidize fossil fuels and undo gains from other corners of the clean energy transition.”

Fakhry said the Energy Ministry should prioritize applications that use green hydrogen – using renewable energy sources to manufacture hydrogen – over applications that would enhance the use of fossil fuels to produce hydrogen.

“The Department of Energy should strongly prioritize deployment”green“Hydrogen has a carbon density of zero or as close to zero as possible,” Fakhry Books. “Green hydrogen production results in virtually no greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollution; therefore, it is the hydrogen resource most closely aligned with US goals of achieving a greenhouse gas-neutral economy by 2050 and protecting the health of communities.”

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