On September 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) opened applications for its $7 billion H2Hubs program, marking one of the largest investments in DOE history, with the goal of creating up to ten regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country.
DOE first announced the opportunity on June 6, 2022, via a Notice of Intent (NOI). The H2Hubs program will focus on the production, processing, delivery, storage and end use of clean hydrogen, with the broader goal of supporting President Biden's goal of achieving a carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050. The program is funded through Section 40314 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (see previous alert here), encompassing fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
The H2Hubs program will be managed by the DOE's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, with support from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) notes that each H2Hub will collaborate with multiple partners to integrate diverse hydrogen technologies, also engaging local and regional stakeholders and Tribes.
DOE anticipates an award floor of $400 million and a ceiling of $1.25 billion, with an estimated performance period between eight and ten years. However, DOE notes that projects may propose a shorter period of performance depending on their level of readiness to proceed into each phase.
DOE has set a deadline of November 7, 2022, for Concept Papers outlining the proposed research project and April 7, 2023, for Full Applications. Selection notifications are anticipated in Fall 2023.
The program was announced during DOE's Clean Energy Ministerial and Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh alongside a draft of its broader National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap. After considering public feedback, DOE expects to finalize this roadmap in the coming months and update it at least every three years.
Akin Gump's public law and policy and environmental and natural resources teams are closely tracking the H2Hubs funding opportunity and stand ready to advise clients as they navigate the various requirements of the application process.
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