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Clean Hydrogen Hub Proposals Move Forward

Two of the regional coalitions vying for a portion of $7 billion in start-up federal funding for regional clean hydrogen hubs are moving forward with their plans at the deadline for submitting full applications. Team PA Foundation, which is leading Pennsylvania’s effort to attract a hub, announced that it had submitted its full application for the Decarbonization Network of Appalachia Hydrogen Hub (DNA H2Hub) to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in advance of the April 7 deadline, and also noted a change in the project partners. The major industry leaders backing the Pennsylvania-Ohio-West Virginia effort will now be Shell, which operates a petrochemical plant along the Ohio River in Beaver County, and Mitsubishi Power Americas, “a world leader in power generation and energy storage solutions. It provides power generation solutions that include cleaner natural gas and clean hydrogen, renewable energy, hydrogen and battery energy storage, environmental controls, services, and digital solutions for plant operation and maintenance,” the project summary states. Equinor, a Norwegian-based company with extensive U.S. oil and gas and renewable operations, had previously been involved in the effort. The Team PA statement did not mention the company’s departure, but the Pittsburgh Business Times reported that the decision was recently made to drop out. “At the core of DNA H2Hub are the multiple H2 production facilities and supporting infrastructure that will together supply the clean H2 to end-users in polymer manufacturing and power generation. With these initial end users, DNA H2Hub promises to serve hundreds of millions by decarbonizing the largest American plastics supply chain and the PJM Interconnection grid, which supplies electricity to over 65 million people. As it expands, it will decarbonize industries (such as steel) that lie at the heart of regional manufacturing, growing the economy while reducing pollution,” the summary states. The proposal will create hydrogen from the abundant natural gas supply in the region, with the resulting carbon dioxide emissions being captured and stored in underground rock formations. Among those expressing strong support for the application was Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro. Another contender in the region, West Virginia’s Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) also announced recently that a multibillion-dollar clean ammonia production facility will be built in Mingo County, W.Va., by Adams Fork Energy and CNX Resources and will be an end-user for its project. CNX, which is based in Southpointe, would supply natural gas that will be used to create ammonia, while CO2 emissions will be managed with carbon capture technology. “Ammonia has been identified as one of the most efficient hydrogen carriers and also results in zero carbon emissions when combusted. It is primarily used in agriculture as a fertilizer,” and in other industrial applications, said CNX President Nick Deiullis in a statement. The plant, which will be located in underserved southern West Virginia, and provide 2,000 well-paying construction jobs as well as generate significant tax revenues and capital investment. It will be located on a reclaimed coal mining site near Gilbert Creek, W.Va., further aligning the project with the White House's Justice40 initiative, which seeks to address environmental and energy justice issues. The West Virginia and Pennsylvania proposals were among 33 that received encouragement from DOE to submit full applications. DOE will now review all applications received and announce its selections in the fall for seven to 10 hubs.

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