A corporate and academic consortium said Nov. 7 that they are moving forward with developing a clean hydrogen hub in the Midwest US to be supplied with power from Energy Harbor's 2.8-GW Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio.
The Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen Partnership made up of Linde, Energy Harbor, GE Aerospace, Cleveland-Cliffs steel manufacturing and the University of Toledo has moved forward with its US Department of Energy hydrogen hub application.
This industry-led coalition will "transition Midwest manufacturing, mobility, power generation and technology operators away from greenhouse gas emitting feedstocks and fuels, to hydrogen, a low carbon alternative solution," the group said in a statement.
The DOE's Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program, or H2Hubs, includes up to $7 billion to establish six to 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country. As part of a larger $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the H2Hubs "will be a central driver in helping communities across the country benefit from clean energy investments, good-paying jobs and improved energy security," according to the DOE.
The Ohio region is a prime location for a clean hydrogen hub due to its access to ample carbon free nuclear power, access to Interstate 80 and Interstate 75, high concentration of manufacturing and technology companies, Great Lakes marine shipping fleet and a highly skilled workforce, the consortium said.
Low-carbon hydrogen would be produced on site at Energy Harbor's Davis-Besse nuclear plant located about 20 miles east of Toledo. The plant is licensed to operate until 2037, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
"This industry-led hydrogen hub intends to ensure that the Midwest is a leader in decarbonization so that regional industries and supply chains are globally competitive, and opportunities are created for workers and their communities," Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research at The University of Toledo, said in the statement.
The nuclear power plant will produce low-carbon hydrogen at a "very competitive price" and the coalition expects the project to come online in less time than competing alternatives, the statement said.
Mainly serving the Ohio and Michigan region, Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen will supply the automotive, power generation, trucking, steel manufacturing and technology suppliers.
Project advantages, details
The project's advantages include production of ultra-pure hydrogen that meets DOE standards without a need to sequester carbon dioxide, according to the University of Toledo's website.
Power purchase agreements will be signed with nuclear plants for electrolysis units at the point of consumption with additional hydrogen production from solar energy projects, according to the university.
The region's 20.5 GW of nuclear power generation capacity have a hydrogen production potential of 8,900 tons/day to 12,300 tons/day from electrolysis, the University said.
Producing, processing, delivering, storing, and using clean hydrogen in the industrial sector will be critical to the DOE's strategy for reaching President Biden's goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to the DOE.
Major regional hydrogen consumers are expected to include Cleveland Cliffs' steel plants, GE Cincinnati, oil refineries, the glass industry, and producers of solar panels, ammonia and methanol, according to the University of Toledo.
To be considered for DOE funding, applicants must submit concept papers by Nov. 7 with full applications due by April 7, 2023.
"Through remarkable collaboration between local companies, universities and public and private sector organizations, the Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen coalition will harness the talents and expertise of our region to solidify the United States' role as a leader in hydrogen production — growing our economy and supporting good-paying jobs," US Representative Marcy Kaptur said in the statement.
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