The Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen coalition (GLCH) said it received encouragement from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to submit of a full hydrogen hub application.

The coalition, which includes Linde, Energy Harbor, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., GE Aerospace and the University of Toledo, proposes to develop low-carbon hydrogen via electrolysis at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.  The facility would distribute the hydrogen across the Great Lakes region by pipeline and road transportation. 

GLCH was selected as one of 33 projects encouraged to proceed to the full application process. DOE said 79 organizations submitted concept papers in total. The Department’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program includes up to $7 billion to establish six to 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs across the U.S.

The program is being funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which defines the term “regional clean hydrogen hub” as “a network of clean hydrogen producers, potential clean hydrogen consumers, and connective infrastructure located in close proximity.”

Other groups that said they were encouraged to submit full hydrogen hub applications include The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) and the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2).

ARCH2 includes over 120 private sector industry leaders, utilities, universities, non-profits, transportation, and state agencies interested in building a hydrogen economy in northern Appalachia. The group was formed through a partnership with the State of West Virginia, EQT Corporation, Battelle and GTI Energy.

PNWH2 was created in the spring of 2022 to apply for the program with support from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and subsequent funding from the Washington legislature. PNWH2’s board of directors include representatives from tribal nations, labor, business and industry, universities. and the environmental community spanning Oregon and Washington. The group envisions a robust network of hydrogen suppliers and off-takers largely in both western and eastern parts of Oregon and Washington.

DOE said it would not publish the names of applicants receiving encourage or discourage notifications.

The Department said 46 concept papers were discouraged for many reasons, but one of the most common reasons was papers that described concepts focused on only one element of the hub. Concept Papers were also discouraged that would depend on technologies unready for commercial scale demonstrations.

You can read more on criteria for the program in a Power Engineering article from last June. Full Applications are due by April 7, 2023.

Many believe hydrogen is poised to play a major role in addressing climate change. In power generation, the advantages of hydrogen include fuel flexibility through the ability to blend hydrogen with natural gas, fuel security through integration with hydrogen storage and the flexibility to follow loads from variable generation.

Major OEMs like GE, Siemens and Mitsubishi Power have been focusing their efforts on hydrogen combustion in gas turbines, particularly for large-scale generation.

While hydrogen does not produce carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted, it does produce nitrogen oxide (NOx). 

MORE: Should we just burn hydrogen for electricity?

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