Insights: Alert DOE Solicits Concept Papers for the $7 billion Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) Program

The United States Department of Energy (DOE), through the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) Program, is providing $6-7 billion in grant funding to support the development of six to ten H2Hubs across the United States. DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstration (OCED), in collaboration with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), and the DOE Hydrogen Program, released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) governing the administration of the H2Hubs Program. Concept Papers responding to the FOA are due November 7, 2022, and full applications are due April 7, 2023.

The H2Hubs Program was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2022 (commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)). Section 40314 of the BIL 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” that:

  • Demonstrably aid the achievement of the clean hydrogen production standard developed under section 822(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), as amended by Section 40315 of the BIL;
  • Demonstrate the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen; and
  • Can be developed into a national clean hydrogen network to facilitate a clean hydrogen economy


As stated, the H2Hubs Program will support the development of six to ten H2Hubs. The FOA requires that each H2Hub be located in a “
different region of the United States and shall use energy resources that are abundant in that region.” In addition to, and separate from the $6-7 billion allocated for H2Hubs development, DOE will reserve $1-2 billion for “future H2Hub launches or other supporting activities completed through future FOAs or using Other Transaction Authorities.

Eligible H2Hubs Program applicants include the following:

  • Domestic entities
    • Institutions of higher education;
    • For-profit entities;
    • Non-profit entities; and
    • State and local governmental entities, and Tribal nations
  • Foreign entities (in limited circumstances)
  • Incorporated consortia
  • Unincorporated consortia

Eligible applicants are required to provide a 50% cost share for an H2Hub’s total project costs.

H2Hubs Program Concept Papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • A clear description of the proposed scope of the integrated H2Hub including the key clean hydrogen production through end-use technologies and systems, total cost of the project, and how the proposed H2Hub would ultimately facilitate a national clean hydrogen network in the U.S.
  • Identification of the preliminary project development plan and timeline, including a finance plan, any key risks, challenges, and possible mitigation strategies, and demonstration of the impact that DOE funding and the proposed project would have on developing a national clean hydrogen network and supporting decarbonization goals
  • Propose a team that has the qualifications, experience, capabilities, and other resources necessary to design, develop, build, and operate the proposed H2Hub
  • A description of strategies to ensure meaningful community and labor engagement; quality jobs and workforce development; EEJ and the Justice40 Initiative; and diversity, inclusion, accessibility—including methods to ensure accountability
  • Address how the proposed work, if successfully accomplished, would meet the objectives as stated in the FOA, including achieving market liftoff and attracting follow-on investments from the private sector to build out a national clean hydrogen network

As noted, applicants must submit their Concept Papers by 5:00 pm ET on November 7, 2022. The Full Application deadline is April 7, 2023, with pre-selection interviews taking place in the summer of 2023 and award negotiations expected to commence in the winter of 2023.

 

If you have any questions concerning the H2Hubs Program, BIL, or the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, including its related energy tax incentives and grant initiatives, please do not hesitate to reach out to: Mark Riedy – mriedy@kilpatricktownsend.com; Tom Allen – tgallen@kilpatricktownsend.com; Siegmar Pohl – spohl@kilpatricktownsend.com; John Loving – jloving@kilpatricktownsend.com; or Stephen Anstey – sanstey@kilpatricktownsend.com.

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