Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $8 million for nine cooperative projects that will complement existing H2@Scale efforts and support DOE’s Hydrogen Shot goal to drive down the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% within the decade. The selected projects, or cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), will leverage the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) platform to enable the integration of hydrogen technologies in future energy systems, including energy storage and a specific focus on safety and risk mitigation. 

“Achieving our Hydrogen Shot goals will require all of us – the research community, industry, government and all stakeholders working together and leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “These projects announced today will help us do just that by fostering collaboration between the private sector and DOE National Laboratories to bring clean and cost-competitive hydrogen to scale.” 

In addition to supporting DOE’s Hydrogen Shot initiative, the selected projects will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by testing key hydrogen systems, including safety components, and providing real-world data to guide future clean hydrogen deployments in the United States. 

The following projects were selected from the 2021 H2@Scale CRADA Call Supporting ARIES

Topic 1: H2@ARIES—Integrated Hydrogen Energy System Testing/Validation 

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and GKN Powder Metallurgy will validate and demonstrate the dynamic operation of a 520 kg hydrogen metal hydride storage subsystem integrated with the ARIES megawatt-scale hydrogen capabilities. (Award amount: $1,722,089) 
  • NREL and GE Renewable Energy will optimize wind turbine design specifically for hydrogen production from electrolysis, and validate designs using NREL’s ARIES facilities. (Award amount: $500,000) 
  • NREL, Southern California Gas, and University of California Irvine will evaluate the interconnection and interoperability requirements for grid forming fuel cell inverters to enable hydrogen technologies to functionally replace traditional power generation equipment. (Award amount: $1,189,000) 
  • NREL and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will collaborate on a PEM electrolysis hydrogen production project focused on grid integration, variable operation with renewables, system size optimization, and modeling to study the scaling of future hydrogen systems. (Award amount: $1,157,219) 

Topic 2: Applied Risk Assessment and Modeling for H2@Scale Applications 

  • Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Wabtec will perform risk assessments on a hydrogen-powered locomotive and tender design including fueling, onboard storage, and transfer of hydrogen from tender car to locomotive. (Award amount: $525,000) 
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Seattle City Light, Port of Seattle, and SNL will perform a large-scale hydrogen storage risk assessment to accelerate the Port of Seattle and Seattle City Lights’ adoption of hydrogen for energy storage and port operations. (Award amount: $770,000) 
  • PNNL, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), and SNL will conduct a detailed set of risk assessments of TriMet’s entire hydrogen system to support the agency’s planned deployment of hydrogen buses. (Award amount: $525,000) 

Topic 3: Next-Generation Sensor Technologies 

  • NREL, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Gas Technology Institute, EPRI, and Paulsson, Inc. will explore emerging hydrogen leak detection technologies for outdoor wide area monitoring applications in support of the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative. (Award amount $1,000,000) 
  • NREL, Renewable Innovations, Inc., Boyd Hydrogen LLC, and Element One, Inc. will implement advanced sensor technologies for more reliable hydrogen leak detection in indoor hydrogen infrastructure applications to improve safety. (Award amount: $525,000) 

“I’m thrilled to see the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s expertise being leveraged to advance new, innovative technologies that can support the wide-scale deployment of hydrogen technologies. This significant funding for research on emerging leak detection technologies will help drive down the cost of hydrogen and ensure it can be produced, transported and used safely and efficiently across many hard to decarbonize sectors of the economy. As Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue to advocate for innovative energy solutions that are critical to charting a path to a cleaner energy future,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

“It’s important for the United States to support an all-of-the-above approach and make investments in a variety of energy technologies, including hydrogen,” Senator Shelley Capito (R-WV) said. “Today’s announcement is welcome news that will deliver funding to support and advance research efforts that explore innovative solutions in clean energy.” 

“Meeting our climate goals demands an all-of-the above approach – and that includes meaningful investment in clean energy innovation,” said Senator Michael F. Bennet (D-CO). “NREL is leading the way to make hydrogen technology more affordable and accessible while cutting greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.” 

These investments are administered by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office to increase industrial and stakeholder engagement in H2@Scale and ARIES through investment and active participation in CRADA projects with DOE's national laboratories. Learn more about H2@Scale CRADA projects

This announcement is part of a week-long celebration of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, held annually on October 8 in recognition of hydrogen’s atomic weight of 1.008. Learn how you can celebrate Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day with DOE.