Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Develops in the Desert Southwest
Energy leaders focused on developing low carbon economies in Arizona, the Navajo Nation, and Nevada have joined forces to develop a regional clean hydrogen hub in the Southwest. The Center for an Arizona Carbon Neutral Economy, and housed within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory™, first introduced in May 2022, is collaborating with partners in Arizona, the Navajo Nation, and Nevada to launch the Southwest Clean Hydrogen Innovation Network, or "SHINe".
On November 7, as its first step in developing the hub, SHINe submitted a concept paper to seek federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") for key clean hydrogen-focused initiatives including production, processing, storage, and delivery systems, community benefits, and other enabling infrastructure. Once fully operational, SHINe will help support DOE's vision of a regional clean hydrogen hub that provides clean energy for the hard to abate carbon emissions in the transportation, industrial, and electricity sectors while maintaining a reliable and resilient electric grid. SHINe will also work to create economic development opportunities in the region.
"A regional clean hydrogen hub focuses on developing a network of hydrogen producers, consumers and local connective infrastructure," said Ellen Stechel, AzCaNE's Executive Director. "The SHINe network includs salt cavern storage, heavy duty transportation, and distribution technologies that will help accelerate the use of clean hydrogen as a source of low carbon energy powering the economy."
In September, the DOE announced that up to $7 billion is available to fund the development of six to ten U.S.-based regional clean hydrogen hubs. Regional clean hydrogen hubs funding was outlined as part of President Biden's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which authorized up to $8 billion for at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs. These hubs are meant to help communities across the country benefit from clean hydrogen investments, quality jobs, and improved energy security. When coupled with other public and private investments in new clean hydrogen production, the hubs are expected to accelerate a nationwide clean hydrogen network and economy.
Arizona, the Navajo Nation, and Nevada are in the nation's sunniest region, with significant available undeveloped land and abundant clean energy resources. Arizona also has the nation's largest nuclear power plant producing 100 percent carbon-free electricity, and energy providers committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Arizona also has world-class universities, established clean energy and clean hydrogen companies, and a healthy environment for innovation and start-ups. The Navajo Nation is one of the largest tribes in the U.S., has a land base larger than West Virginia, and is transitioning to a clean energy economy. Nevada is an early investor in clean hydrogen infrastructure, which will be necessary to integrate more hydrogen-fueled vehicles. These resources, along with the region's proximity to California, will contribute to decarbonizing the region and ultimately the entire U.S.
SHINe includes more than forty member organizations with expertise and operations throughout the region, including cities, clean energy companies, gas producing companies, non-profits, transit companies, universities, utilities, and others including the following:
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