Hydrogen electrolyzer designer and manufacturer Next Hydrogen Solutions Inc.’s fully owned subsidiary, Next Hydrogen Corp., has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), along with an initial total of 40 hydrogen ecosystem partners, to develop a proposal to become one of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs designated through the U.S. federal Clean Hydrogen Hubs program included in the federal 2021 bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The coalition of 40 partners agree to work together to advance a vision that enables a long-term sustainable clean hydrogen industry in the Northeast region and cooperate to develop a proposal in response to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Funding Opportunity Announcement, anticipated to launch in May 2022 with $8 billion in funding available.
“Next Hydrogen is excited to offer its unique technology and solutions expertise to this monumental group of partners who will work together to advance a clean hydrogen hub in the US Northeast,” says Raveel Afzaal, president and CEO of Next Hydrogen. “We are joining an impressive group of industry leaders to evaluate and develop this hydrogen hub proposal with the shared goal of facilitating the development of resilient clean energy infrastructure in the United States.”
NYSERDA, which will coordinate the proposal development, will work in consultation with coalition partners, to determine the eligibility of hydrogen projects to participate in the hub proposal, consistent with the core principles of greenhouse gas reduction, economic development, and environmental justice.
By forming a coalition, New York presents a coordinated multi-site approach to a hydrogen hub that connects the entire value chain of hydrogen producers, users, technology and equipment manufacturers, and the research and development community including national labs and universities.
In addition to Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, the partners include Alliance Energy Group LLC; Alternate Aviation Fuels LLC; BAE Systems; Bloom Energy Corp.; CALSTART; Climate Jobs NY; Columbia University; Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc.; Cornell University; Cummins Inc.; Daroga Power; Doosan Fuel Cell America Inc.; Ecolectro Inc.; Empire State Development (ESD); Fuel Cell Energy; Invenergy Hydrogen LLC; Liberty Utilities (St. Lawrence Gas) Corp.; Long Island Power Authority (LIPA); National Grid; National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium; New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BEST); New York State Power Authority (NYPA); New York University; Next Hydrogen Corp.; Nucor Steel Auburn Inc.; Ohmium International; Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc.; Partnership Fund for New York City; Plug Power Inc.; Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT); Standard Hydrogen Corp.; Stony Brook University / Advanced Energy Center (AERTC); The City College of New York (CUNY); The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; Vermont Gas Systems (VGS); and WATT Fuel Cell Corp.
With the execution of these agreements, the partners will work together to define the vision and plans for the regional hydrogen hub that can advance clean hydrogen energy innovation and investment to address climate change, while improving the health, resiliency and prosperity of Northeastern United States residents. They will perform research and analysis necessary to support the hub proposal as well as support environmentally responsible opportunities to develop hydrogen, in accordance with the state’s Climate Act.
The Draft Scoping Plan of New York’s Climate Action Council, released in December 2021, identifies low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen as an important component of a strategy to achieve the goals of the Climate Act in sectors that are challenging to electrify such as transportation and heavy industry.
In addition, in recognition of hydrogen’s importance to New York State’s comprehensive decarbonization strategy, Governor Hochul announced in her 2022 State of the State address that the state will undertake several direct actions to support development of green hydrogen and invest in communities including:
The Department of Public Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSERDA will develop a green hydrogen regulatory framework to measure emissions reduction and health benefits and will evaluate and develop codes and standards to ensure the safe operation of green hydrogen.
NYSERDA will develop a program to support locally owned green hydrogen-powered microgrid solutions, which can help underserved communities replace polluting backup generators. It will release $27 million in NYSERDA Hydrogen Innovation funding to support product development, pilots, and demonstrations through competitive solicitations.
NYSERDA will propose a green hydrogen demonstration (study and/or engineering assessments) for district heating and cooling. It will expand on existing investments and bring together key stakeholders and current hydrogen users, including chip fabrication, methanol production, and warehouse material handling. In addition, NYSERDA will launch a Green Hydrogen Prize Program to support green hydrogen firms seeking to expand in New York State.
Next Hydrogen has also entered into a consulting agreement with North Equities Corp., whereby North Equities will provide marketing and consulting services to the corporation for a three-month term.