HONOLULU —The Hawai‘i State Energy Office and its partners have submitted a full application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Hydrogen Hub programs.
The Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub (H2Hub) authored one of 33 concept papers nationwide that was encouraged by the U.S. Department of Energy to apply for funding through the program. The agency has said it plans to choose six to 10 applications to share a total of $7 billion available through the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Regardless of the outcome, we now have a much clearer picture about how hydrogen will be part of Hawai‘i’s future as we expand our portfolio of energy resources,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “We submitted an entirely green hydrogen proposal and, if we are successful, it could be a real game-changer that launches hydrogen technology and the hub as a key part of a diversified and integrated economic portfolio.”
The Hawai‘i State Energy Office convened a group of stakeholders to develop and submit a $2.1 billion proposal. If selected for an award, the projects within the Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub are subject to a rigorous four-phased funding process over a 10 – 12-year period. Each of the first three phases requires the completion of a series of milestones in order to be eligible for federal funding in the next phase.
“We submitted an excellent package that we believe deserves funding,” said Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer Mark B. Glick. “More importantly, the process to develop a full proposal brought together energy stakeholders throughout Hawai‘i and beyond, to assess and refine our state’s overall energy strategy and understand how hydrogen contributes to our renewable energy and decarbonization goals. Whatever happens with this proposal, we are grateful for the dozens of collaborating organizations in the public and private sectors who co-designed the roadmap and are fully committed to making it a reality.”
The Hawai‘i proposal aligns existing and new infrastructure to build out a new green regional hydrogen production, distribution, and use network to serve the state and military locations on Guam and Kwajalein Atoll. The hydrogen is called “green” because it would be produced from a diverse and distributed portfolio of renewable energy sources in accordance with Hawai‘i state law and other supportive policies, instead of fossil fuels.
The mission and purpose of the H2Hub is to seed a transition to hydrogen-powered operations across all sectors of Hawai‘i’s energy ecosystem and economy for the next decade to:
- Eliminate price volatility and reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions in high-value transportation, energy storage and electric power applications;
- Serve as the linchpin in accelerating Hawai‘i’s renewable energy and decarbonization strategy, thus contributing to energy security and national security;
- Provide significant net benefits to Hawai‘i’s diverse communities through green jobs, higher wages, and delivery of reliable, secure, clean and affordable energy;
- Match and phase in appropriate end users from ground-transportation, maritime, and aviation sectors operating locally, to ensure supply and demand balance; and
- Focus on hard-to-electrify or hard-to-abate sectors first, including heavy- duty ground and marine transportation and aviation.
Informed by the islands’ Native Hawaiian host culture, the H2Hub embraces kuleana—responsibility to ensure projects are culturally and environmentally responsible and all project funding benefits island communities, with at least 40% benefitting disadvantaged communities as required by the federal government.
The H2Hub promotes economic development, workforce training and community benefits for all residents with targeted benefits for areas populated by disadvantaged and Native Hawaiian communities to increase ownership, employment, and income associated with the H2Hub enterprise.
Proposal details will remain confidential through the competitive national selection process which is expected to conclude this fall.