HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i State Energy Office and a consortium of partners across government, community, industry, and academia have submitted an integrated Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub concept proposal to the US Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (H2Hub) program.
As part of the $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the US DOE is seeking proposals to establish as many as ten regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country. The hubs are intended to create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of clean hydrogen across the economy.
“Hawaiʻi is best positioned to demonstrate a Pacific H2Hub to convert our abundant renewable resources of sun, earth, water, wind, and agriculture into locally produced fuels for transportation, storage, grid security, fertilizer, and maritime trade,” Governor David Y. Ige said in support of the proposal. “Our state laws have supported clean hydrogen for two decades. A Hawaiʻi Pacific H2Hub supports local, national, and regional security with a pathway for Indo-Pacific integration.”
The integrated Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub aligns multiple existing, in-development, and proposed hydrogen production pathways that leverage existing energy infrastructure while developing new hydrogen infrastructure, to deploy hydrogen across all sectors of Hawaii’s energy ecosystem and economy over the next decade.
“This is an important opportunity for Hawai‘i moving toward a clean energy economy. The consortium includes almost two dozen participants ranging from industry leaders to frontline communities, which demonstrates the widespread local support for increasing community resilience and economic prosperity by strengthening local energy systems and reducing reliance on imports,” added Hawai‘i State Chief Energy Officer, Scott Glenn. “The collaboration with partners representing every step in the energy infrastructure supply chain supports the generation of locally produced fuels for transportation, stored energy for utility grid security, and fertilizer for food and agricultural production.”
The Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub proposal also contributes a critical component to national security objectives in the region.
“Establishing this capability in Hawai‘i further leverages the national hydrogen network into the Asia-Pacific region and supports the national and energy security objectives of the U.S. and its key regional allies,” added Major General John F. Wharton (USA-Ret) now CEO of the Global Connective Center.
The proposal includes community collaboration and the development and coordination of a carefully crafted community benefits plan grounded in a Native Hawaiian framework to ensure at least 40% of federal H2Hub clean energy investments flow to disadvantaged communities resulting in sustainable living wages and careers in long-term industries that will increase household incomes and stimulate Hawaii’s economy. All of the consortium participants are committed to working together with communities to develop the components of the H2Hub that incorporate proactive workforce development, labor engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility strategy and implementation plan and a Community Benefits Plan relevant to each phase of the overall project.
The consortium includes 21 contributing organizations to the 20-page concept paper filed today, most of them located in Hawai‘i.
“DOE funding will help Hawai’i to become the first decarbonized state in the country, and a model for other communities around the world to replicate,” said Lex Heslin, a consortium member and CEO of Enso Infrastructure, a hydrogen project developer and finance company.
“Dibshawaii and its association of local businesses and not for profit partners are thrilled to participate, demonstrate, and showcase the capabilities and consistency of our island community partners to innovate and deploy best in class technologies in the emerging industry and the growth of a Hawai‘i Pacific H2Hub. We will be focusing on a carbon negative energy platform to educate, train, and develop people and places in the most vulnerable and diverse communities to transition to a clean and renewable energy future,” said Keoni Ford, President, Dibshawaii, LLC.
“Cyrq Energy, a geothermal focused, renewable energy developer, owner, and operator is pleased to contribute to and support HSEO’s effort to create a Hawai‘i Pacific hydrogen hub,” said Matt Rosenfeld, General Manager, Cyrq Energy.
“As the only utility gas company in the nation currently blending hydrogen and renewable natural gas in our main utility fuel mix, Hawaiʻi Gas is eager to join with other local companies and organizations to help our state become one of the nation’s Regional Clean Energy Hubs,” said Kevin Nishimura, VP of Operations for Hawai’i Gas.
“We are happy to partner with the State of Hawai‘i and other leaders in creating a cleaner energy future for our island home,” said Eric Wright, President Par Hawai‘i.
“174 Power Global is excited for the opportunity to partner with the state of Hawai’i on this very important endeavor to start to fuel Hawai’i’s energy independence with hydrogen.” Larry Greene, VP of Development
The Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub concept paper is pending review and acceptance by the US Department of Energy. If the DOE acknowledges formal interest in the proposal, the consortium will submit a formal application for funding under the program in 2023.
About the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office
The Hawaiʻi State Energy Office (HSEO) is an attached agency of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The HSEO’s mission is to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high-impact solutions that will maximize Hawai‘i’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO is positioning Hawai‘i as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities, and accelerate economic growth. For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov.
Public Affairs Officer
Hawaiʻi State Energy Office