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News Release: New York Launches $10M Clean Hydrogen Initiative

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $10 million initiative to advance innovative clean hydrogen research, development and demonstration projects that address the challenge of replacing fossil fuel usage in hard-to-electrify sectors. This solicitation is open to fund projects proposed by New York-based entities that are also actively applying for federal clean hydrogen funding opportunities. Today’s announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce emissions 85 percent by 2050 and transition to 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040.

“Investing in clean hydrogen is the latest example of New York’s commitment to exploring all technologies and avenues to transition to clean energy economy-wide,” Governor Hochul said. “In partnership with the state’s leading innovators and problem-solvers, we are taking bold action to transition even the hardest-to-electrify sectors, helping secure a healthy and sustainable future for all New Yorkers.”

The new initiative, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will operate in tandem with New York State’s overall advancement of a clean hydrogen ecosystem which includes the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (NE Hub) effort. While the NE Hub work focuses on clean hydrogen deployment across the broader Northeast region, the initiative announced today will specifically fund RD&D efforts that are most relevant and critical to advance a clean hydrogen economy in New York and support the achievement of the Climate Act goals. Applicants comprised of single entities or teams can compete for funding under four technical challenge areas for emerging research, development and demonstrations of clean hydrogen including:

  • Hydrogen applications to decarbonize industrial process heat;
  • Clean hydrogen production and integration with renewable energy such as solar and offshore wind;
  • Mitigation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in hydrogen combustion; and
  • Hydrogen storage technologies, including bulk storage and storage in limited footprint areas.

Successful awards will be contingent upon securing federal funding. Applications  for this new initiative will be accepted through 3:00 p.m. on June 28, 2023. Along with NYSERDA proposal documents, proposers are required to submit their federal concept paper for evaluation by NYSERDA. For additional information and associated documents, visit NYSERDA’s website. NYSERDA will host a webinar on June 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to share details of this solicitation and eligibility requirements. Please register here .

New York State Energy Research and Development President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “This new initiative further demonstrates New York’s leadership in growing a clean-hydrogen ecosystem that connects production, manufacturing and end use to advance economic development, resilience, and environmental justice. Targeting specific technical challenge areas that encourage innovation in hard-to-electrify sectors of the economy complements the State’s electrification efforts while reducing emissions Statewide, including in overburdened areas.” /p>

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “This significant initiative focused on hydrogen research and development will complement our efforts to reduce fossil fuel use as part of our ambitious climate agenda in New York State. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, this solicitation will advance research and innovation into clean hydrogen to aid in our transition to a clean energy economy and meet our aggressive targets under the Climate Act to achieve 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 to ensure a cleaner, greener environment and combat climate change for future generations with a focus on equity in disadvantaged communities.”

Projects awarded through this solicitation will pave the way for future hydrogen hub project deployment, and strengthen the regional hydrogen strategy put forth by the NE Hub partners including New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont, and over 100 hydrogen ecosystem partners, who collaborated on the development of a proposal submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy in early April for hydrogen hub funding and designation as a regional hub under the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act. This regional strategy includes:

  • Prioritization of clean electrolytic hydrogen production – integrating electrolyzers with renewable energy such as solar and wind.
  • Utilization of clean hydrogen to decarbonize hard-to-electrify sectors – hydrogen application to decarbonize industrial process heat, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the total heat consumed in New York industry, currently provided by combustion of fossil fuel.
  • Growing the Northeast’s rich innovation ecosystem at scale – providing cost share for New York entities and projects to leverage over $1 billion in multiple funding opportunities recently announced by federal agencies.
  • Critical focus on community engagement, environmental justice, diversity, equity and inclusion – environmental justice and other stakeholder perspectives were instrumental in shaping the focus areas for this solicitation, including prioritizing investment in clean hydrogen production with renewables, focusing on applications to mitigate localized pollution impacts in Disadvantaged Communities, and controlling emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) resulting from hydrogen use in hard-to-electrify sectors, such as high temperature industrial manufacturing processes.

Assemblymember Didi Barrett said, “Even as we continue to take steps to meet the state’s ambitious CLCPA goals, it’s important to recognize that there are sectors that will always be difficult if not impossible to electrify. Working with low carbon fuels like clean hydrogen is one strategy to address those challenges, and this forward looking initiative, just announced by NYSERDA, will help us further understand the full potential for clean hydrogen in achieving decarbonization.”

New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium Executive Director Bill Acker said, “NY-BEST members working on clean hydrogen are developing solutions to critical challenges in decarbonizing electricity generation, heavy duty transportation, and the industrial sector while also building an industry that will be a significant economic engine for the State. The new initiative announced today by NYSERDA will help fund important new clean hydrogen research, development and demonstration projects that will further our efforts to develop a strong clean hydrogen ecosystem here in New York.”

Center for Hydrogen Safety Executive Director Nick Barilo said, “As the number of clean hydrogen projects increases, prioritizing safety will be vital to realizing success in this venture. The Center for Hydrogen Safety and its resources are available for organizations involved in these activities to enable the safe and timely transition to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. NYSERDA, as a member, has access to the latest information on hydrogen safety best practices while supporting the development of hydrogen technologies in New York State.”

The initiative announced today was developed in alignment with the Climate Action Council Scoping Plan  approved in December 2022, which identified strategic use of low-carbon fuels such as clean hydrogen as an important means of decarbonizing sectors that are challenging to electrify. In addition, environmental justice and disadvantaged community stakeholder perspectives were instrumental in shaping the challenges and areas of focus for this solicitation, including prioritizing research into mitigation of NOx emissions resulting from hydrogen combustion, and focusing on clean hydrogen production with renewables.

This announcement builds on New York State’s investments in research, development, and commercialization to support innovators that are accelerating the low emissions and carbon sequestering technologies needed to meet the State’s goal for economy-wide carbon neutrality. NYSERDA’s Innovation program is deploying $800 million over 10 years as direct investments via grants and wrap-around commercialization support. More than $680 million in private investments and $200 million in project finance capital have been enabled, and more than 450 innovative clean energy products have been commercialized as a result of NYSERDA’s technology and business development investments, including LED lighting systems, home appliances, longer-lasting batteries, and more efficient heating-and-cooling systems.

Funding for this initiative is through the State’s 10-year, $6 billion Clean Energy Fund. More information about this funding is available on NYSERDA’s website.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York’s unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.8 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

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