U.S. Energy Department Invests In Hydrogen Projects

By Jack Burke27 July 2020

The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced approximately US$64 million in fiscal year 2020 funding for 18 projects that will support the H2@Scale vision for affordable hydrogen production, storage, distribution and use. These projects will fuel the next round of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities under H2@Scale’s multi-year initiative to fully realize hydrogen’s benefits across the economy.

H2@Scale is a concept that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resiliency of the power generation and transmission sectors, while also aligning diverse multibillion dollar domestic industries, domestic competitiveness, and job creation.

The projects receiving DOE funding include:

● $8 million to Hornblower Yachts for a marine hydrogen demonstration.

● $6 million to Caterpillar for a system demonstration for supplying electric power to data centers using hydrogen fuel.

● $4.8 million to 3M to develop advanced manufacturing processes for gigawatt-scale proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers.

● $3 million to Cummins for PEM fuel cell systems for heavy-duty applications.

● $3 million to Plug Power for domestically manufactured fuel cells for heavy-duty applications.

● $1 million to Nikola for advanced membranes for heavy duty fuel cell trucks.

“Hydrogen has the potential to integrate our nation’s domestic energy resources, add value in industrial and energy-intensive sectors, and broaden technology choices for medium- and heavy-duty transportation,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “These projects will bring us closer to realizing hydrogen’s full potential for a resilient, flexible, and affordable energy system for all Americans.”

The projects will be funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Reliable Energy’s (EERE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO). The projects will feature collaborations with EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office on manufacturing reliable and affordable electrolyzers and with EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office on developing low-cost, high-strength carbon fiber for hydrogen storage tanks. Other areas of focus include identifying durable and cost-effective fuel cell systems and components for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

This investment will also spur demonstrations of large-scale hydrogen utilization at ports and data centers and across industrial sectors like steelmaking.

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