On Friday, October 13, President Joe Biden and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Jennifer Granholm announced the selection of seven regional “clean hydrogen hubs” which are in line to receive a collective $7 billion in federal funding from money included in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
The approved hubs are spread across a total of 16 states representing discrete geographic regions:
- Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub – Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey
- Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub – West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania
- Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems – California
- Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub – Texas
- Heartland Hydrogen Hub – Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
- Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan
- Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub – Washington, Oregon, Montana
Though the Department of Energy took a pass on Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia’s bid to become the Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub, a Coastal Virginia regional partnership remains bullish on the development of an innovative $6.5 million green hydrogen fuel program based in the Tech Center Research Park near Jefferson Lab in Newport News.
The program was launched by the Hampton Roads Alliance and the cities of Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach in partnership with the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. The program is part of a multi-pronged effort to build a local industry around clean hydrogen power, which would grow the region’s clean energy capacity, catalyze economic development and create new jobs in the sector. Despite lack of DOE hub funding, this regional partnership remains on track with plans for its lab, multiple hydrogen energy projects, workforce training and education initiatives.
On Monday, October 16, CoVaBIZ reached out to Brett Malone, President and CEO of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center for first comment on the DOE selections.
"The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC) sees hydrogen investment as exciting and boundless,” says Malone. “We congratulate the regions selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for the hub project. And while we would have liked for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to have been selected as the mid-Atlantic hub, our work continues uninterrupted. Our focus remains on hydrogen use cases that intersect the scientific, academic, industrial and public sectors -- and seeing Virginia's Hampton Roads region continue to serve as one of the nation's comprehensive labs in renewable energy deployment."