On Tuesday, December 27, the Kansas-based HARVEST Hydrogen Hub was officially notified by United States Department of Energy (DOE) that it is “encouraged” to pursue a full application for the Regional Clean H2 Hubs program.
The DOE Regional Clean H2 Hubs program was launched as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and will appropriate up to $7 billion to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop 6 -to- 10 regional hydrogen hubs across the US. Each hub will establish regional networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure toward the goal of building a robust national hydrogen-based energy sector that generates low-cost sustainable power, stimulates business investment creating high-quality employment opportunities, and delivers community benefits.
The DOE’s decision to encourage was based on an initial concept paper submitted by the HARVEST hub team in November. The DOE received a total of 79 papers from a wide variety of public and private applicants – some large alliances of states and/or corporations – across the United States. Of these, just 33 earned official “encouragement” to move forward to the preparation of a full application.
The HARVEST Hydrogen Hub represents a non-partisan coalition of public and private parties that are active in Kansas and have a strong interest in the development of a productive hydrogen-based energy sector based in Kansas that supports a wide range of economic activity and acts as a critical, central hub for the future national hydrogen infrastructure.
“We are excited to partner with major industrial and government players to put forward a successful proposal for economic development and energy diversification. Kansas has a unique energy portfolio and storage capabilities that, coupled with natural and human resources, make it a premier location to grow the nation’s hydrogen production capabilities. We are proud of our partners and companies in Kansas that are leading the way to develop this resource while showing that hydrogen can be a major driver of economic growth for Kansas and the Midwest region,” explained Dr. Jay Kalbas, who is the State Geologist of Kansas and the Director of the Kansas Geological Survey, and who chaired the coalition effort.
The HARVEST hydrogen hub’s concept proposes to utilize industry investments of more than $1 billion and matching funds from the DOE to advance production and usage plans in three defined regions of the State. In so doing, it actively leverages several distinctive factors that position Kansas to be a uniquely productive leader in the nation’s hydrogen ecosystem including:
- Some of the lowest wholesale electrical generation costs in the nation, fostered by significant electrical generation from wind, solar, and nuclear sources;
- A strategic location in the center of the US combined with high quality transportation infrastructure
- Robust agricultural and industrial sectors which can readily consume hydrogen derivative products;
- Extensive underground storage potential in salt deposits that can be transitioned into storage caverns.
“Our coalition is united by an extraordinary vision of what is possible for the State and region if we are able to act decisively to take full advantage of Kansas’ remarkable resources. This program offers the opportunity to infuse billions of dollars into the region’s economy to improve energy security and expand access to key commodities, while placing Kansas at the heart of a new nation-wide ecosystem,” continued Kalbas.
In addition to facilitating hub development, DOE funding would also enable HARVEST to coordinate robust community engagement and environmental justice initiatives to ensure that the benefits of clean hydrogen serve all Kansans and help alleviate challenges in disadvantaged communities throughout the region.
The HARVEST Hydrogen Hub is currently moving forward with development planning and preparation of a full application due on April 7, 2023. The DOE is expected to announce funding recipients in the fall of 2023.
For more information on the HARVEST Hydrogen Hub, visit HarvestHydrogen.org or contact:
Kimberly Gencur Svaty – 913.486.4446 or firstname.lastname@example.org