Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen Moves Forward Toward Hydrogen Hub Designation

September 8, 2022 | News, Research, UToday, Alumni
By Staff

A new industry-led coalition, Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen (GLCH), has been formed as a coordinated hydrogen hub effort to transition the Midwest into a leading low-carbon fuel production center, attracting major investment, new businesses and job creation.

The coalition of industry, academic, federal laboratories and non-profit organizations will help manufacturing, aviation, transportation and power-generation industries reduce their carbon emission footprint. GLCH will pursue funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) $8 billion regional clean hydrogen hub initiative.

Utilizing nuclear power, supplemented by renewable solar energy, GLCH will produce clean hydrogen through water electrolysis aligned with the DOE’s Hydrogen Shot goals and will result in near-term cost-effective decarbonization, pollutant reductions and high-paying employment opportunities. The focus on pure hydrogen production through electrolysis avoids the challenge of capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide. Given the DOE’s desire to invest in major commercial deployment activities, an industry-led entity is the appropriate way to organize the hydrogen hub.

“As we begin an exciting new era of innovation, America’s energy future will be built right here in the industrial heartland,” U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur said. “Through remarkable collaboration between local companies, universities and public and private sector organizations, the Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen coalition will harness the talents and expertise of our region to solidify the United States’ role as a leader in hydrogen production — growing our economy and supporting good-paying jobs.”

The Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen hub is guided through a steering committee led by representatives from The University of Toledo, Case Western Reserve University, Owens Community College, Michigan Technological University, University of Michigan, the Idaho National Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, Energy Harbor, Cleveland-Cliffs, General Electric Aviation, Linde, Plug Power, Nexceris, NEL, First Solar, GEM, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), the Regional Growth Partnership and the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and others.

Aligned with the DOE’s goals for environmental justice, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), GLCH has three major elements: commercial deployment, DEI and research. The Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen hub is focused on understanding ways to support workforce development, engage all communities and reduce the environmental footprint of energy and hydrogen production and use.

The GLCH-proposed projects will advance commercial deployment of hydrogen in a variety of transportation and industrial applications in the Midwest.

Proposed concepts with Cleveland-Cliffs include its role as a consumer of clean hydrogen in its new direct reduced iron-making facility to produce clean hot briquetted iron, a key quality input for steelmaking, as well as use of clean hydrogen in its blast furnaces — all in the Midwest.

Another proposed project involves the use of hydrogen for Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) buses in Lucas County to reduce carbon emissions and other air pollutants while providing opportunities for job creation and community development.

A proposed project with GE Aviation will help move the aviation industry toward the use of a much-needed replacement for jet fuel.

Research centers will address technical challenges involved in hydrogen production, transportation and accelerating deployment of emerging technologies through our collaborative network of national laboratory, university and industry partners.

“This industry-led Hydrogen Hub coalition intends to ensure that the Midwest is a leader in a decarbonization transition so that regional industries and supply chains are globally competitive, and opportunities are created for workers and their communities,” said Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research at The University of Toledo.

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