Rhode Island and 6 States in the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Announce Submission of $3.62 Billion Proposal to U.S. Department of Energy for Funding and Designation as National Hub

Published on Friday, April 07, 2023

The States of Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts today announced the submission of the group's proposal for a Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub to the U.S. Department of Energy to compete for a $1.25 billion share of the $8 billion in federal hydrogen hub funding available as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Together with the federal portion, the proposal represents a $3.62 billion investment and includes over one dozen projects across seven Northeast states that advance clean electrolytic hydrogen production, consumption, and infrastructure projects, for hard to decarbonize sectors, including transportation and heavy industry, among others. Today's announcement supports each state's climate and clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy across all sectors of the economy.  

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee said, "Rhode Island's 2021 Act on Climate sets an ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. To make this future a reality, Rhode Island must rely upon diverse sources of clean energy, particularly for hard-to-decarbonize industries. We are proud partners in this interstate effort to create a clean hydrogen infrastructure that will help New England lead the fight against climate change."    

"As a leader on climate action and founding partner of the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, New York State is leading the way in establishing a connected and sustainable hydrogen industry that will bring jobs and economic development to the region," Governor Hochul said. "We are ready to work with our state partners and local communities to capitalize on federal funding and ensure this program benefits the entire region while becoming part of a connected hydrogen hub network nationwide and reaching our ambitious climate goals."    

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said, "This is a momentous day for the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, and I'm thrilled with the compelling application we made to the U.S. DOE. The public-private partners in our hydrogen ecosystem are worldwide leaders in business innovation, and climate leadership. I thank them for the collective effort getting us to this point, and I look forward to a favorable decision from the DOE and the good-paying, local jobs and many other community benefits that will result."    

Maine Governor Janet Mills said, "I am excited about the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub's application to the U.S. Department of Energy. My Administration looks forward to collaborating with public and private partners to explore the potential of clean hydrogen to reduce emissions and generate economic growth."   

Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey said, "With this proposal, we have a unique opportunity to leverage substantial federal funding to begin building a market for clean hydrogen that will address some of our most difficult to decarbonize sectors. The Northeast Hydrogen Hub will create opportunity, prioritize equity, and enable significant progress toward our ambitious climate requirements. I look forward to working with this impressive coalition of state leaders and partners in the private sectors to bring economic growth and industry to the region."   

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, "The submission of this game-changing proposal marks a significant milestone toward the cultivation of a clean energy economy not just in New Jersey, but across our region. Just as importantly, it further demonstrates the synergy between federal and state governments united by their belief in the importance of innovative climate action. By securing funding through the Biden Administration's historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, New Jersey and its regional partners will advance clean hydrogen production and consumption, especially in industries that significantly contribute to GHG emissions and pollution in our local communities."

Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner June E. Tierney said, "Vermont is proud to be a partner in this innovative and forward-looking proposal. Hydrogen technology is part of a multi-pronged approach to tackling climate change. We look forward to collaborating with other northeastern states toward a clean energy future."         

The proposal will be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Energy with awarded proposals designated one of the nation's regional clean hydrogen hubs. Awards are anticipated to be announced in fall 2023.

Since the launch of the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (NE Hub) in March 2022, six states and more than 100 partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) joining the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to collaborate in developing the proposal submitted. The NE Hub partnership - which is committed to demonstrating and capitalizing on the economic and decarbonization opportunities presented by clean hydrogen - initially included the States of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and 40 partners active in the development and deployment of clean hydrogen as an important component of the broader energy transition. The partnership expanded in August 2022 to include the states of Rhode Island, Maine, and over 25 additional hydrogen ecosystem partners. In February 2023, the partnership grew to more than 100 partners, with Vermont also joining.  

This coordinated, multi-state strategy is designed to create an ecosystem that connects hydrogen producers and users and their associated safety experts, technology original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the research and development community, workforce organizations, and labor representatives, for the collective purpose of advancing clean hydrogen projects for inclusion in the proposal consistent with the following guiding principles:    

  • Prioritization of clean electrolytic hydrogen production - hydrogen made without creating greenhouse gas emissions using clean electricity and water;  
  • Utilization of clean hydrogen as a complement to electrification efforts by focusing on hard-to-electrify sectors of the economy;        
  • Critical focus on community engagement, safety, climate, environmental justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility;        
  • Realize the unique opportunity to grow the clean energy workforce, focusing not only on educating and training new, underrepresented, and dislocated workers, but also leveraging existing specialized and skilled workers to play a critical role in building the infrastructure needed for a sustainable clean hydrogen ecosystem as part of the clean energy transition;   
  • Leverage - and grow- Northeast's rich innovation ecosystem at scale; and       
  • Collaboration on critical policy initiatives and incentives.      

In accordance with these guiding principles, the NE Hub projects include clean electrolytic hydrogen production for use in transportation, high-temp industrial thermal, and communal utilities for heat which are each representative of hard-to-decarbonize sectors. The projects included in the proposal are proposed to be sited to form a regional hub of integrated projects across states collectively producing and utilizing clean hydrogen, advancing a vision that enables a long-term sustainable clean hydrogen industry in the northeast region, and establishing strategic connections to other clean hydrogen hubs.

If selected for an award by the Department of Energy, the projects within the NE Hub will complete a rigorous series of four phases in development over the course of 10-12 years, with each subsequent phase requiring completion of milestones before projects move forward in the process, including technical data and analysis, community engagement and impacts, engineering, permitting and safety, business development and management, procurement, and construction and operations.

If selected, management and oversight of this endeavor across seven states will be accomplished through close coordination and collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy, NYSERDA as the prime awardee, the state partners, and sub-recipient project partners who will be the organizations implementing work in communities across the region.

While the U.S. Department of Energy completes the application review process, the full list of projects, locations, and organizations included within the NE Hub proposal will not be made public.