DOE Announces Nearly $8 Million to Help Reach Hydrogen Shot Goals through National Laboratory H2@Scale Projects

On October 8, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $8 million for nine cooperative projects that will complement existing H2@Scale efforts and support DOE’s Hydrogen Shot goal to drive down the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% within the decade. The selected projects, or cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), will leverage the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) platform to enable the integration of hydrogen technologies in future energy systems, including energy storage and a specific focus on safety and risk mitigation.

The selected projects will support the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by testing key hydrogen systems, including safety components and providing real-world data to guide future clean hydrogen deployments in the United States. “Achieving our Hydrogen Shot goals will require all of us – the research community, industry, government and all stakeholders – working together and leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “These projects announced today will help us do just that by fostering collaboration between the private sector and DOE National Laboratories to bring clean and cost-competitive hydrogen to scale.”

The following projects were selected from the 2021 H2@Scale CRADA Call Supporting ARIES:

Topic 1: H2@ARIES—Integrated Hydrogen Energy System Testing/Validation

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and GKN Metallurgy will validate and demonstrate the dynamic operation of a 520 kg hydrogen metal hydride storage subsystem integrated with the ARIES megawatt-scale hydrogen capabilities with an award amount of $1,722,089.

NREL and GE Renewable Energy will optimize wind turbine design specifically for hydrogen production from electrolysis, and validate designs using NREL’s ARIES facilities with an award amount of $500,000.

NREL, Southern California Gas and University of California Irvine will evaluate the interconnection and interoperability requirements for grid-forming fuel cell inverters to enable hydrogen technologies to functionally replace traditional power generation equipment with an award amount of $1,189,000.

NREL and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will collaborate on a PEM electrolysis hydrogen production project focused on grid integration, variable operation with renewables, system size optimization and modeling to study the scaling of future hydrogen systems with an award amount of $1,157,219.

Topic 2: Applied Risk Assessment and Modeling for H2@Scale Applications

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Wabtec will perform risk assessments on a hydrogen-powered locomotive and tender design including fueling, onboard storage and transfer of hydrogen from tender car to locomotive with an award amount of $525,000.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Seattle City Light, Port of Seattle and SNL will perform a large-scale hydrogen storage risk assessment to accelerate the Port of Seattle and Seattle City Lights’ adoption of hydrogen for energy storage and port operations with an award amount of $770,000.

PNNL, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), and SNL will conduct a detailed set of risk assessments of TriMet’s entire hydrogen system to support the agency’s planned deployment of hydrogen buses with an award amount of $525,000.

Topic 3: Next-Generation Sensor Technologies

NREL, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute, EPRI and Paulsson, Inc. will explore emerging hydrogen leak detection technologies for outdoor wide area monitoring applications in support of the Low Carbon Resources Initiative with an award amount of $1,000,000.

NREL, Renewable Innovations, Inc., Boyd Hydrogen LLC and Element One, Inc. will implement advanced sensor technologies for more reliable hydrogen leak detection in indoor hydrogen infrastructure applications to improve safety with an award amount of $525,000.

“I’m thrilled to see the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s expertise being leveraged to advance new, innovative technologies that can support the wide-scale deployment of hydrogen technologies. This significant funding for research on emerging leak detection technologies will help drive down the cost of hydrogen and ensure it can be produced, transported and used safely and efficiently across many hard-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy. As Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue to advocate for innovative energy solutions that are critical to charting a path to a cleaner energy future,” said US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

“It’s important for the United States to support an all-of-the-above approach and make investments in a variety of energy technologies, including hydrogen,” Senator Shelley Capito (R-WV) said. “Today’s announcement is welcome news that will deliver funding to support and advance research efforts that explore innovative solutions in clean energy.”

These investments are administered by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office to increase industrial and stakeholder engagement in H2@Scale and ARIES through investment and active participation in CRADA projects with DOE’s national laboratories. This announcement was also part of a week-long celebration of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, held annually on October 8 in recognition of hydrogen’s atomic weight of 1.008.