This is the text version of the video Hydrogen Shot Industry/Lab Collaboration and Innovation Panels at the DOE Hydrogen Program 2022 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting.

Eric Miller: And we're moving now to the Hydrogen Shot industry lab collaboration part of our panel. I'll keep my comments short to get us back on track. We've got an eminently distinguished group of panelists. We'll be splitting into three small fireside chats. In the spirit of the Hydrogen Shot, looking at the full spectrum of requirements and needs, starting with materials and components through the HydroGEN consortium, looking at our partners there, having a discussion with them. Moving into integrated systems, focusing on nuclear energy integrations with some world leading experts in this field. As well as moving on to the electrolyzer manufacturing scale-up deployments with some of the pioneers in this field. We are very fortunate to have these panelists with us.

I'm going to hand it over first to our first fireside chat, which will be hosted by Huyen Dinh, who has been in this field for quite some time. And since we've recruited her back in the day to help us develop protocols and standards under the photoelectrochemical working group, which she didn't know she was getting into, she has become a world leader in the hydrogen community since then. I would like to turn it over to Huyen to introduce your panelists and start the conversation.

Huyen Dinh: Thank you, Eric. Thank you for the kind introduction. We do have a great HydroGEN industry panel today and we're excited to talk to them all about the lab industry partnerships that they're part of and helping advance the Hydrogen Shot goals.

My name is Huyen Dinh and I am the Director of HydroGEN consortium. Joining me today is Mike Tucker from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Mike leads a metal-supported SOEC HydroGEN 2.0 project. Our industry panelists are listed here, include Scott Swartz from Nexceris, Yushan Yan from Versogen, Andrew Park from Chemours, and Yingying Chen from Gore. I will start with a short overview of the HydroGEN consortium and then each industry panelist will briefly talk about their interactions and partnerships with the national labs via the HydroGEN consortium.

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So HydroGEN is a five-national-lab consortium and we are working on early-stage water splitting technologies and materials development for these different low-TRL technologies, including low- and high-temperature electrolysis, PEC, and STCH. HydroGEN is enabling Hydrogen Shot by fostering cross-cutting innovation using theory-guided applied materials R&D to advance all emerging water-splitting pathways for clean, sustainable, and low-cost hydrogen production.

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I believe that one of the key ingredients to advance Hydrogen Shot is through collaboration and leveraging each others' expertise and capabilities. This way we avoid duplication and us all to succeed. There are multiple ways in which HydroGEN collaborates. Within HydroGEN 2.0 all the national labs collaborate with each other in these early-stage materials R&D projects. The national labs continue to support the FOA-awarded projects by providing lab personnel, equipment, expertise, materials, and data to the projects. You can see here Chemours is one of the FOA-awarded projects that HydroGEN national labs support, and Andrew will talk more about this later.

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Another way that the HydroGEN labs collaborate is through the benchmarking and protocol development. The workshops and the whole effort really includes national and international participants from universities, national labs, and industry partners. Yingying Chen of Gore will touch on this interaction in her talk.

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HydroGEN also collaborates with other consortia. For example here, the PEM and oxygen-conducting SOEC materials R&D that has occurred in HydroGEN, and still working on the materials development part, is feeding to the H2NEW consortium for component integration and scale-up. HydroGEN 2.0 currently focuses on these advanced water-splitting pathways and we have the PEM, AEM, and SOEC capability that support small and big business partners that some of our panelists will be talking about.

Now I'd like to turn it over to Mike to introduce our industry panelists.

Mike Tucker: Yeah. Thanks, Huyen. Yes, I can just mention briefly the high-temperature electrolysis that we're working on in HydroGEN 2.0. At LBNL we're developing materials and processing technology for metal-supported solid electrolysis cells. The metal support allows them to have dynamic operation, good thermal cycling, redox tolerance, mechanical strength, good tolerance to unbalanced pressure. Durability is a key concern and we're addressing that with 1,000-hour tests and post-mortem analysis.

I can also mention the work at INL in Dong Ding's group, where they're doing material development and characterization for proton-conducting electrolysis cells, such as the BZCY-type materials. And they're looking at how composition and operating conditions affect the Faradaic efficiency, water absorption, interface stability, and other key metrics. They're using a combination of modeling and experimental techniques to do that.

So that's in HydroGEN 2.0; in HydroGEN 1.0 lots of companies and universities were awarded projects and the national labs offered node capabilities to assist those projects. And both INL and LBNL were supporting Nexceris in developing a coating for stainless steel interconnects for electrolyzers.

So with that I'll introduce Scott Swartz, who is the founder and CTO of Nexceris. Scott, go ahead and tell us about your experience working with the HydroGEN nodes.

Scott Swartz: Yeah, I'll do that. Is it me or you're—Mike, it looks like you've got my name attached to your picture.

Mike Tucker: Yes, I see that. Well hopefully the slides work.

Scott Swartz: Yeah. Well, I tried to share and I can't. But do you have my slides up or can you or how does that? There we go. Yeah, thanks.

Yeah, a little bit about Nexceris. We were founded in 1994, so we've been around now for almost 28 years. We're located in Lewis Center, Ohio, which is just north of Columbus, Ohio. We've been working most of our years in the field of solid oxide fuel cell and electrolysis, and I think we've been a pretty strong player in that field. We make materials for solid oxides, cells and stacks, we make planar cells, we make coatings, which is the focus of the work we're doing with LBNL on the HydroGEN project. And we also make stacks and we're starting to get into systems.

Other areas that we're involved with include sensors. These include a real cool product of ours where we have a [inaudible] detection of off-gas from lithium ion batteries well in advance of any kind of thermal event, work in the areas of catalysts, batteries, and I mentioned solid oxide cell materials is another business of ours.

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And this is where I'm going off the rails a little bit. I was, I think, invited onto this panel to talk about the coating project that we're working on with LBNL and INL, and that's a great project. The HydroGEN node support has been instrumental to the success of our project, so we're really excited about that. But I started thinking about all of the interactions I've had more globally since the company was founded, and I can state that our first government project was actually a collaboration with PNNL in 1996, was actually funded by the Office of Naval Research. And our first solid oxide fuel cell project was a collaboration with LBNL in 1997, and this one was funded by EERE. And in the aughts and tens through the SECA program we did a lot of collaborations with PNNL and Oak Ridge and Argonne on SOFC materials and components.

In fact, there was a great product they helped us develop. They were destroying these cells with poisons and so we were able to make standard cells and it was basically a great product because they didn't last very long and they just ordered more.

More currently we have an ongoing collaboration with PNNL on battery technology development. I mentioned the current collaboration with NETL—or I'm sorry, another collaboration with NETL on SOFC turbine-powered hybrid power systems, and I mentioned the collaboration with LBNL and INL under our EERE projects.

So it's just been a great experience working with national labs, especially for small companies that might not have access to all that wonderful talent. So thank you very much.

Huyen Dinh: Thank you, Scott. Now I would like to introduce our next panelist, Yushan Yan. He's not only a professor, but an entrepreneur who is the CEO of Versogen. Please take it away, Yushan.

Yushan Yan: Good morning. It's an honor for me to be here. My name is Yushan Yan. I'm the founder and CEO of Versogen. Versogen is a University of Delaware spin-off dedicated to the scale-up and commercialization of two things. One is the anion exchange membrane and the other one AEM-based electrolyzers.

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We have a fantastic team here. We have Sharon Perl taking care of the polymer production, membrane production. She has more than 15 years of industrial experience in scaling up. And we have Balsu as our CTO, who has about 20 years of experience at General Motors and Plug Power, and more recently Ohmium, an electrolyzer company. So he is taking care of the stack building. And in terms of numbers, Versogen raised about $5.6 million seed funding, recently closed a Series A $14.5 million. We have 18 employees, trying to grow to 30 by the end of this year. We have 60-plus customers for our AEMs, and we have had a sale of about $1 million for the year we're in.

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This is a very short list; it doesn't really capture everything we've been doing with the national labs. As a university professor for the past 24 years I don't know how many collaborations I have with the national labs. So here, first of all, we've been providing materials to the HydroGEN partners, more specifically we've been giving materials to Lawrence Berkeley, NREL, and Los Alamos. And Versogen has been a participant in the industry growth for a wonderful platform for startup companies to get exposed to the investment community and the strategic partners. So that has been very helpful.

One particular case I want to highlight here is Versogen is a Shell Game Changer awardee. This is a collaboration between NREL and Shell. The official name is GCxN. We're still in the program; we're going to finish soon. In this one NREL has been checking off our materials and really providing the third-party verification. So that has been very helpful. So that would be my short introduction. Thank you again.

Mike Tucker: Thank you. Now I can introduce Andrew Park from Chemours Company.

Andrew Park: Thanks, Mike. Happy to be here. Thanks again for having me. If you want to go on, Eric, to the next slide.

So just quick intro on Chemours. I hope you've heard of us at this point. We spun off from DuPont in the 20142015 timeframe, taking a few business units, of which include the fluoropolymers business unit, which of course includes Nafion. Nafion is a foundational component in the hydrogen fuel cell and PEM water electrolyzer spaces. And Chemours has got a pretty significant capacity to make Nafion owing to our significant history in chloralkali membrane manufacturing. We're backwards integrated all the way back to HF, so we control the supply chain from the raw materials all the way through the final membranes and dispersions. And we have a lot of activity going on to make new materials in this space.

But if you advance one, please.

I wanted to call out this is the HydroGEN forum and we have our HydroGEN project that I think has been critically enabled by the national lab interaction. The goal of this project is to increase the voltage efficiency of hydrogen production in PEM water electrolysis with advanced membranes and to do it really quickly, i.e., to get to the next commercial membrane as fast as possible. But the challenge there is that to get membranes with low resistance they have to be thin, which means gas crossover and durability concerns come into play. And it's not necessarily in our wheelhouse to do the advanced diagnostics in the PEM space to evaluate the performance and durability of those membranes.

So our HydroGEN project is a collaboration exclusively with national labs, which has really built out capabilities to do advanced testing that have enabled this membrane to have a reasonable degree of success. I wanted to call out and acknowledge Sid, Kaustubh, and Rod at Los Alamos; Jake and Guido at NREL; and Arthur at Lawrence Berkeley, all of whom have made significant contributions to developing capabilities or diagnostics that enable us to do some pretty interesting testing.

I've got a quick example on the next slide, and there's obviously more details in the poster associated with this project. But in terms of performance, you know, these membranes have demonstrated some pretty exciting overall efficiency, especially when considering that they're an improvement over existing, very thick membranes. But in particular what's exciting is that we can test hydrogen crossover in an operating cell at high differential pressure, and some of these diagnostics have shown that we have up to a 50x improvement in effective gas crossover at those very challenging conditions.

So all of this, again, has been enabled through collaboration with the national labs and we are very grateful to not only those lab participants, but the HydroGEN consortium for allowing us to make these partnerships a thing. And we're looking forward to continuing. Thanks.

Huyen Dinh: Thank you, Andrew. That was great. Thank you for continuing to develop new materials so that we can really advance toward the Hydrogen Shot goals.

I would like to introduce Yingying Chen next. She and Andrew were both post-docs at NREL and now are at different companies. Yingying, please take it over.

Yingying Chen: Thank you. Hello, my name is Yingying Chen. I'm from W.L. Gore. I really appreciate this opportunity to be here during this panel.

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So Gore has been researching and developing fuel cell technologies for more than 25 years. We have manufactured millions square meters of PEM and MEA. This has enabled over 40,000 fuel cell vehicles, reducing 150,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. So with a mission to help create clean and sustainable energy solutions that drive positive change for the world, we have been developing proton exchange membranes for low-temperature water electrolysis applications, building on our decades-long experience in ePTFE reinforced membrane technology.

Some key features of our membranes include high proton conductance, enhanced mechanical and chemical durability, and low gas [inaudible]. So with strong fit-for-use knowledge that translates in a strong portfolio of already developed products and predictive models, as well as high capacity business with secure supply chains and strong brand. Our membranes enable high performing systems for OEMs and low total cost of ownership for the customers.

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Clean sustainable energy is what we are preparing for each of us in the future. And Gore is not doing this alone; we are partnering with wonderful companies and institutes like NREL to make a positive impact. So we have been collaborating with NREL under a technical service agreement, with NREL's top-notch testing capabilities and the deep expertise in membrane characterization it enables us to understand our membrane performance and properties in the water electrolysis cells, which guides us to further PEM development of better performance.

So we have also actively participated in the HydroGEN benchmarking workshop supporting the standardization of the PEM water electrolysis testing protocols. We believe this activity could bring huge benefit to the community as well as supporting us to develop the testing capabilities and accelerate the components development.

That's all for me. Thank you very much.

Eric Miller: Thanks. And Huyen maybe—are all our panelists on? I don't see the view, but I do want to thank everyone for this panel. We do want it to—like certainly in the interest of industry pull versus scientific push, we rely heavily on the feedback that we're getting from our collaborations with our industry stakeholders, so we really appreciate that.

We might not actually have time for a fireside chat, but we definitely want everyone to keep engaging with us. So if you could actually type into the chat some of your best experiences with the national labs, and if there's any recommendations what we can do better in terms of formatting and processes with the collaborations I'd appreciate it. I do want to give everyone the opportunity to give a final word of encouragement, maybe, Huyen, starting with you.

Huyen Dinh: I'd like to thank the panelists and Mike for joining me today; it's been great. HydroGEN is set up to really work with industry partners and universities, and we really need to work together to reach this very aggressive goal. So thank you for participating in this.

Eric Miller: All right. Any thoughts from Scott or the rest? Final thoughts?

Scott Swartz: This has been a fun forum. I really have enjoyed my interactions with national laboratories currently and in the past, especially in the area of high-temperature electrolysis, which is a major focus of Nexceris. Right now I'm working with LBNL and INL; you couldn't ask for better collaborators. Both [inaudible] personal perspectives.

Eric Miller: Nice. Andrew.

Andrew Park: Just to reiterate quickly, you know, this Hydrogen Earthshots goal is only going to work if we have great collaborations between academics, government, and industry. It has certainly propelled us forward years into the future, and that's the only way this is going to work. So we're very grateful for all of these forums. And thank you.

Eric Miller: Perfect. Mike?

Mike Tucker: Yeah. I mean for me it's really the opportunity to make sure that we're doing relevant work. You know, we love doing work at the national lab, but it only counts if it's what is needed for commercialization. So thank you to all the company collaborations that have kept us on track and made the work worthwhile.

Eric Miller: Great. Thanks. Yushan.

Yushan Yan: Well, I don't think that this is the platform for me to give a long answer. Let me just say simply in the innovation continuum, you know, on one end is the curiosity, to even university research, and the other end is the big companies making goods and services. I feel national lab and startup companies are really feeding a critical place between these two extremes. So national lab has a critical role to play for hydrogen technology and many other things. So I'll stop there.

Eric Miller: Great. Thanks. And Yingying, last words?

Yingying Chen: Well, we have been benefiting tremendously from the collaboration with NREL. It helps us a lot. We're learning a lot from NREL from their expertise and we're looking forward to deeper and bolder collaborations with national labs. And we're looking forward to working together towards a HydroGEN goal.

Eric Miller: Perfect and thank you to all. All right, I'm virtual—I'm clapping. I don't know how to do it virtually. I'm doing it in real time and I'm going to move on to our next panelist. Thank you very much for that.

Okay, and for this I'm going to hand it over to a true force of nature, Richard Boardman, who has been an advocate and a staunch supporter of hydrogen and fuel cells maybe even longer than I have. So, Richard, I'm going to ask you to introduce your panel. You've got quite the distinguished panel at your disposal to work with. So if you can kick it off I'd really appreciate it.

Richard Boardman: Thank you very much, Eric. You know, I'd just like to say hydrogen is really the fountain for life, the fountain of youth, too, and it's because it's so exciting to work in this program, and it's working with beautiful people like you'll see here, that are part of this panel. These are very important people that we're going to talk a little bit about today, the spectrum here on more towards the utility end. And the higher end of the last panel was somewhat in the fundamental, so we'll mention some of that with my counterparts, Dr. Olga Marina and Dr. Harry Abernathy, who are also from the national labs.

But it's really my pleasure that Rita Baranwal, our former assistant secretary for the Department of Energy—assistant secretary for nuclear energy, who has a storied career now in leading programs in DOE and with EPRI, and is now back to being the chief technology officer for Westinghouse. And she's joined by one of her team members, this is Christy Verbofsky. And Christy has right now been instrumental in setting up some partnerships with the national labs, including at Idaho National Lab. She recently spent a couple of days here at Idaho National Lab, where we're working on a cooperative research and development agreement with Westinghouse, and she may say a few words about that.

We come to Colleen Wright, really the vice president for corporate strategy with Constellation, formerly known as Exelon. You know, we've been working with one of our staples, Uuganbayar Otgonbaatar from Constellation, and he'll be presenting some tomorrow. But it's a real pleasure to have Colleen here to say a few words now about Constellation and their leadership out here in hydrogen frontiers.

Noah Meeks is a staple of our community and he's been coming to the AMRs for many years here. Great leader here with Southern Company, and he'll mention a few—he'll make some remarks about an initiative they have.

Let's go to the next slide, Eric, and I'll try to be quick about this.

We've been interested, as you said, Eric, about hydrogen for decades here, and have always seen it to be a good fit with nuclear energy. This is not just our existing fleet, but this is advanced reactors. And so when we talk about—somebody mentioned in the previous panel before, that getting to have affordable electrons was very important. Hopefully we can have those affordable electrons with existing nuclear plants, and then hopefully these advanced reactors will be incrementally provisional and be able to be put down at the source where that hydrogen might be used.

So you can see here how we see this progression beginning with NuScale, it had a small module reactor in 2012. As they started looking at hydrogen, reaching out to 2030 and beyond with some of these advanced reactors that we'll hear from Westinghouse and also Southern Company tell us a little bit about.

With that let's turn the time over to Constellation. Go to the next slide here and we'll let Colleen give us an overview of Constellation now.

Colleen Wright: All right. Thanks. Can you hear me okay? Yeah? Great.

Good afternoon. After completing a separation with Exelon in February Constellation is the leading clean energy company in the United States. So we currently supply about 180 terawatt hours of clean nuclear power and our asset base is about 90% clean today. We're targeting and have both climate commitments to be 95% clean by 2030 and 100% clean by 2040—or 2045. As the country and the world ambition to transition to a net-zero economy we need to decarbonize all of the sectors of the economy, and as you all are familiar with, about a quarter of those emissions come from hard-to-decarbonize sectors like heavy-duty transportation, aviation, and heavy industry.

Hydrogen, as we know, provides one avenue to decarbonize those sectors. At Constellation we're really interested in exploring how our 24/7 clean power can support decarbonization of those sectors through the production of clean hydrogen.

So to do this we're partnering with the national labs, as most folks are. We're currently implementing DOE funding for a demonstration project as part of the Hydrogen at Scale program at Nine Mile Point, which is one of our nuclear power clean energy centers in upstate New York. The objective of the project is to install a 1.25-megawatt PEM electrolyzer at the station to meet the operational needs and offset external purchase for hydrogen. Our partners on the project are INL, ANL, NREL, and Nel Hydrogen. And we've completed 100% of the engineering design for the unit and we expect deliveries of the electrolyzer and compressor in August.

Our work with the national labs has been instrumental to the success of this project and also to our learnings. We've learned a lot. We've learned about the integral relationship with the national labs as we scale hydrogen and we drive down the costs, and we've also learned a lot about the feasibility and scalability of deployment for hydrogen at scale at our sites. We're very excited about the hydrogen hub funding as an opportunity to scale these learnings and further accelerate the implementation of the hydrogen economy and accelerate the decarbonization of those hard-to-decarbonize sectors with our 24/7 clean power.

Richard Boardman: Thank you very much, Colleen. Eric, will you go to the next slide? We'll turn some time now over to—both to Rita and to Christy to tell us more about the Westinghouse's program and efforts in hydrogen. Go ahead, Rita. Rita, I think you're still on mute.

Rita Baranwal: All right, here we go. Thank you all for having me today, Richard, and Eric, good to be here.

I wanted to give a little bit of background on Westinghouse and our interest specifically in hydrogen and working with the national labs. Westinghouse is a company that is over 9,000 employees worldwide, and our technology currently is in use in over 430 reactors all around the world. So that's about 50% of the world's operating reactors that rely on our technology.

We continue to be a world leader in innovative technology and are very proud to be partnering with the national labs in the United States to help forward the progress in using nuclear energy to generate clean hydrogen to assist with the decarbonization efforts that are going on around the world. And as recently as yesterday we just announced a letter of intent with a company that produces hydrolyzers, because we also understand that not all of the technology can be invented within Westinghouse, and we want to leverage the best partners that we can. And so we have issued a letter of intent with Bloom Energy and are looking forward to partnering with them as we go forward on this journey.

Christy Verbofsky: And I'll just add a few points that we've had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the light-water reactor sustainability program, working alongside and supporting INL to develop a concept of operation for hydrogen and nuclear. Additionally we've been working closely with INL, as Richard mentioned earlier, to establish a CRADA to further the research and collaboration as we investigate the potential for hydrogen production from different types of nuclear plants, including existing LWRs, advanced reactors, and eventually even our own AP1000 PWR and our eVinci Micro-Reactor.

Richard Boardman: Very good. Thank you, Rita and Christy, for those remarks. We'll give a minute now to let Noah to tell some about the exciting work being led by he and his group at Southern Company.

Noah Meeks: Hey. Good morning, Richard, and thank you all for the invitation to talk about—to summarize really our work at Southern Company in the hydrogen R&D program.

Our basic premise has been the more we look at hydrogen the more we think this statement is true, that hydrogen is really the next evolution of the utility business model, that hydrogen can decarbonize—along with electricity, can decarbonize the entire energy economy from transportation fuel, thermal fuel, chemical potential as an industrial feedstock, and electricity energy storage. And as such we deserve to think of it from that perspective, its holistic benefits across the energy economy and also its potential use long-term in a utility business model as a public good, rather than strictly as a commodity.

Southern Company, we've taken a holistic approach, and I appreciate also our other utility colleagues, our great friends at Constellation being on here as well, and appreciate the work we've collaborated with them on over the years.

One of our focus areas has been the potential of hydrogen to enhance the resiliency of the energy system at all scales, and this goes from the very smallest scale of micro-grids, so we've done a lot of investigative work on hydrogen micro-grids, all the way up to the potential of hydrogen to enhance the energy resiliency of a hydrogen hub. And again, when I speak about energy resiliency I'm not limiting it strictly to electricity, but to think about the entire energy system that takes place at a micro-grid that is at a customer site, or at a large-scale potential what we call the hydrogen hubs.

So our technical focus areas here have covered the entire spectrum, from hydrogen generation through its use in energy storage, the infrastructure needed to support the widespread deployment of it, and then the analysis underpinning all of those things. So briefly I'll just state we've done work with Idaho Lab looking at nuclear-based hydrogen generation. Some of that has already been described about some of these other projects. Market analysis that we did with the multi-lab consortium, but we've also looked at Savannah River Lab, for instance, at the potential to take advanced nuclear reactors, so-called gen four molten salt reactors, and use those for thermochemical hydrogen production, or hybrid hydrogen production through the hybrid sulfur process. We've also been looking at the more conventional approaches in low-temperature electrolysis and high-temperature electrolysis, and also an interesting project that involves collaborations with NREL and other labs around the reversible PEM electrolysis, reversible electrolysis and fuel cell based on a PEM device, for which Nel Hydrogen is a prime contractor.

We've also been developing our work around energy storage. That device would really fit well in the energy storage applications. Again, how much—what hydrogen can be at a customer's site all the way up to what it can be in a regional energy system. And then hydrogen infrastructure, we have projects with a multi-lab consortium that includes NREL and PNNL and Argonne to look at hydrogen piping. So natural gas infrastructure that may include hydrogen blends, and also natural gas pipeline converted to pure hydrogen service. And both of those I think are really important to understand what the limits of our existing infrastructure are.

And all of this, as I said—let me just wrap up my introductory comments just by saying our biggest view is how do we decarbonize the entire energy economy? How do we utilize the electricity infrastructure that's already been built out, the wires to deliver hydrogen at the right scale to all the customers, not just to the industrial customers, but also to the transportation customers, to the filling stations. How do we use the wires, maximize the use of that infrastructure and then also maximize the use of the infrastructure and pipes leading to ultimately hydrogen sitting alongside electricity as a clean energy vector. And we think that's really the right place, and anything short of that we want to have that vision in our head as we start going through these projects and getting—developing the knowledge and developing the commercial business cases.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of our partners in the trade associations as well as the national labs. EPRI has rolled out the Low Carbon Resources Initiative; we're a founding member, as well as three different trade associations that we're a part of now. Proud to be part of the Hydrogen Council, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, and the Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition. So I appreciate the great work being done there as well as in the national labs.

Richard Boardman: Great. Thank you very much, Noah, for all that leadership that Southern Company is providing.

Eric Miller: Hey, Richard, I know we've got a couple of laboratory-specific slides. I'm wondering if we could move to just around the table and have Harry and Olga give some quick final thoughts as we go through. I think we're running a little low on time. Would that be okay?

Richard Boardman: That would be just great. Go ahead, Olga and Harry.

Eric Miller: Some thoughts from Olga and Harry on what their roles are and what their laboratory could contribute?

Olga Marina: Okay. National labs help to develop high-temperature electrolyzers and our lab focuses on overcoming technical barriers to enable affordable, reliable, and efficient electrolyzers to meet the DOE's $1.00 per kilogram of hydrogen goals. And we are striving to accelerate the U.S. manufacturer's competitiveness in the world by addressing the electrolyzer's cost, performance, durability, and manufacturability. So we work very closely with industry to help them to evaluate their stack performances and to perform extensive post-test characterizations of their stacks to understand the degradation mechanisms and to help them to locate any defects and improve their next product.


Harry Abernathy: Yeah, I think the key word for us on the national labs side is scale. We can use our modeling capabilities and computing facilities to model everything from atoms to the cost of hydrogen to help pinpoint the R&D goals we need to hit those performance metrics set by the Hydrogen Shot. And on the technology scale-up side we can do that public discussion of integrated energy systems, where we can link together the multiple national labs to identify the controls and instrumentation issues that make these integrated energy systems possible.

Eric Miller: Great. Thanks, Harry. And let's get some final priorities from our distinguished guests. Rita, do you have something to leave us with that we really need to focus on?

Rita Baranwal: I think—all right, there we go. The relationships that the developers and the end users and utilities have with the national labs is absolutely vital to accelerating the commercialization of hydrogen generation using nuclear energy. The demonstration projects that the DOE and the labs are currently sponsoring are absolutely essential to help us validate flexible operating concepts that are being proposed for the plans, even at the smallest scales. It's certainly one thing to talk about it and hash it out on paper, but it's an entirely different matter to show that it works in practice. And that's where I think it's absolutely vital to have the national labs on our team. You all have the experience and the expertise in setting up first-of-a-kind test facilities, and can also leverage each other in your capabilities, your personnel and the expertise there, and that really helps us expand our resource base to make sure that as we're working collectively we can commercialize these technologies in the end much faster than we ever could dream of doing on our own. So I think that's really important.

And one last note that I wanted to add was the diversity of thought that comes with all of us working together, so we've got Constellation, Southern, NREL, INL, PNNL, the other labs in the mix, is invaluable. It's priceless. And we need to continue to do more of these types of activities, because I think each of us in our respective organizations tend to have our own blind spots, and as we have this diversity of team members who are willing to raise their hand and ask, "Did you think about this?" or, "Why are you doing it this way?" just makes us all better.

Eric Miller: Yeah. Great. Thanks, Rita. I think that's a great way to end this panel. I know we definitely want to hear from everyone, so feel free to reach out and send your comments and we'll continue the dialogue. But I think that was a really good tone to end this one. With that I want to give a round of applause to these panelists and thank you so much for being with us today; we really appreciate it.

And with that I need to move to our last set of speakers. And I'm going to hand this over to Debbie Myers from ANL and in cohort with Bryan Pivovar, who have been pioneers from the laboratories in the hydrogen and fuel cell space for quite some time, introducing pioneers in the electrolyzer space, pretty much forever. So, Debbie, do you want to take it away and introduce your panel and kick it off?

Debbie Myers: Sure. Thank you so much, Eric, for the kind introduction. So I'd like to introduce really some very distinguished people in the hydrogen field in low-temperature electrolyzers. So first up will be Bryan Pivovar. He is a senior research fellow at NREL and also the lead of the H2NEW consortium. Kathy Ayers is the VP for R&D at Nel Hydrogen, and Corky Mittelsteadt, who is the VP for electrolyzer technology at Plug Power.

So first up will be Bryan and he'll give us an introduction to the H2NEW consortium. Bryan.

Bryan Pivovar: Thanks, Debbie and Eric. So I don't want to take a lot of time, leave it for our industrial collaborators. I'm just going to give the group a brief overview of what we're doing in H2NEW. H2NEW is Hydrogen from Next-generation Electrolyzers of Water. It's really been focused on the advancement of PEM and solid-oxide electrolysis technology. We expect that alkaline will be added, liquid alkaline, in the very near future. However, we've only been going since October of 2020, so we're about just less than two years in. Seventy-five percent of our effort to date has been focused on PEM and 25 percent on SOEC. Sorry about the typo there.

You've seen from Huyen's talk where HydroGEN was. H2NEW is connected to other consortia within DOE, largely in HFTO, but also the Roll-to-Roll Consortium, the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck Consortium, and ElectroCat also play into this. It started with an initial lab team of nine national labs that are listed here. On the low-temperature electrolysis side I've shown our advisory board, and the high-temperature electrolysis side has an advisory board as well. We've also been engaging with international communities, an AST working group, and material suppliers. But there's this need to further expand engagement with industry and academia, and that's something that we're really focused on going forward.

We have well defined stack targets. But this all comes back to this limited fundamental knowledge of degradation mechanisms and the need for accelerated stress test development and trying to basically get methods and tests that can help accelerate the deployment of these systems. And a large part of that is understanding the cost, performance, and durability trade-offs of these systems.

Next slide.

There's really three areas that we're primarily focusing on, and we've done a lot of analysis in looking at how electrolyzers can integrate into the system. The analysis has been both systems and techno-economic. This is a really quick overview of the three specific areas where we're trying to address stack costs, and this is a PEM example. Decreasing costs from today's costs to mid-term and longer-term targets, and they're really looking at taking on three specific areas: increased efficiency, which can also be translated to increase in current density, as if you need less cells to do the same amount of work, you save a lot of money in that.

The second is decreasing the PGM loading, going from something around 3 milligrams per square centimeter down to 1 milligram per square centimeter down to 0.5 milligram per square centimeter. And then finally different aspects of scaling up. Scaling up is partially taking advantage of the economics of higher throughput, and a lot of that requires advances in R&D from manufacturing techniques. So it's not just going to scale, but it's also developing the cost effective techniques at getting to scale.

Those three areas are highlighted fairly well here in our approach to how we'll take costs out of these systems or how we anticipate supporting taking cost out of these systems going forward.

Next slide.

The other thing that the national labs have that I wanted to highlight is these platforms for integration, validation, and de-risking deployments. H2NEW is really focused a lot more on kind of the small scale science to enable these things, but there's a critical aspect of actually demonstrating these at scale, integrating them into systems, and there's examples here of four different types of areas where the national labs have developed capabilities to help support industry in these areas.

On the top-left there's the low-temperature electrolysis facility at NREL. That goes up to one megawatt electrolysis capability and has worked with leading OEMs in the PEM space, including our next two speakers. Below that is—well, we'll go to the right first. The high-temperature electrolysis facility at INL is another type of facility that mirrors what NREL does in this space but on the high-temperature side. In the bottom right NETL has the reaction chemistry facility that includes hydrogen production. And then at the bottom left kind of ARIES, which is this Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems, there is an expansion of that that's at NREL, but it also looks to incorporate aspects with that with all the other national labs.

So kind of going from powders to power, going from single cells to the megawatt-plus scale and basically helping industry demonstrate that is what we're trying to help enable at the national labs.

With that I'm going to turn it over I believe to Corky.

Corky Mittelsteadt: Great. Thanks, Bryan. Yeah, go ahead and off to the next slide.

At Plug Power we're really moving very quickly and aggressively to deliver full turnkey solutions for hydrogen. In the past, of course, people really know us for the goods handling area, the forklifts, trucks, and such. But in the past couple of years have made the investment to do the full solutions. So that's from the generation of the hydrogen to the transport and storage as well.

So hop off to the next slide.

And here you see in the past where we've always had those kind of block diagrams, and here you see a 10-megawatt facility being installed in Georgia. This facility has actually been completed now, but it doesn't look as impressive with the roof on it. It's harder to see what's going on.

So go ahead onto the next slide.

So I think a lot of you have heard about the aggressive timetable for Plug to put hydrogen worldwide. In the next couple years over half of that is going to go right here in the United States as Plug Power is already one of the highest consumers of hydrogen, certainly for liquid hydrogen, and will be replacing that SMR-generated hydrogen with our own green hydrogen over the next few years.

Next slide.

And finally, really where can we work with the national labs? Of course, my biggest project or responsibility here at Plug is to lower the cost of the electrolyzer stack, but there's areas in the national labs that are working on all of these things. As we get more and more successful at dropping the cost of these stacks the other parts of the balance of plant become a much larger piece of the wedge of that pie of the total cost, if you will. And that certainly includes the power electronics, and there's huge opportunities for better integration with wind and solar to drop all of the cost of the power conditioning, as you will, from the—you want to go directly from wind or solar, and there's a lot of projects there as well.

But even though some of the simpler things that haven't been looked at for a while: hydrogen dryers and compressors, water purification, and rectifiers, of course, work on prognostics. National labs are really good at this with their ability to look at things in great detail, of course. And one thing national labs have always done is to look at what are the ultimate targets and barriers as well.

And the last two are things I'd really like to see that the national labs are working on; I'd like to see an expansion as well of course of safety. And as we start making these things by the thousands all of a sudden, recycling.

So thank you.

Debbie Myers: And next up is Kathy Ayers from Nel Hydrogen.

Kathy Ayers: All right. Thank you, Debbie. You can go to the next slide.

So Nel produces both alkaline and PEM electrolyzers and I'll focus more on the PEM side. But I just wanted to show the alkaline plant because I think it plants out a few things that have been brought up today. One is, as Dave Peterson mentioned earlier, these systems have already been deployed in 100-megawatt plants and we have recently just opened a state-of-the-art facility for production of alkaline electrolyzers that's currently capable of half of a gigawatt and that plant is scalable to two gigawatts. So we're learning a lot in the U.S. office in terms of how do you look at power electronics at this scale, balance of plant components, etc., as well as really how do you build a factory of this scale.

So you can go to the next slide.

This is our current Wallingford facility, and you can start to see here how the cumulative deployment of electrolyzers is actually starting to show some of that hockey stick curve now. You know, it kind of steadily grew over the early 2000s in small industrial products, and as we've started to see more things like bus fueling, truck fueling, ammonia production, etc., you can start to see the deployment really starting to increase and obviously we see the opportunities really starting to increase as well.

So finally I'll just go to the next slide to talk about some of our history in lab-industry collaboration. We have a lot of projects where we've worked with the national labs, but I picked this one for a few reasons. One is selfishly I wrote a transactions paper in ECS Transactions in 2010 that's heavily cited that said that the bipolar plate was the largest cost component in the stack. And that's just not true anymore and it's because of this project. So this was a project, even though it's a little bit older, I think that's good because it actually has gone all the way into commercialization and we've fielded thousands of cells using these parts.

We had a bipolar plate project to look at how do we redesign this plate from manufacturing to design to coatings, etc. And so in working with the labs we had access to accelerated stress tests that we didn't have in our own facility. This particular project worked with Oak Ridge to look at accelerated hydrogen embrittlement with different types of coatings, and that helped us down-select the coating that was eventually used. And this project basically brought down the cost of the bipolar plate when scaled to about 20% of what it originally was.

So this forms the basis of both our 250-kilowatt and our one-megawatt platforms, and I think is just an example of how we took something all the way from fundamentals to commercialization and now we have newer projects on other components within the cell, which also have national lab collaboration. So with that I'll turn it back to Debbie and maybe we can have a question or two.

Eric Miller: Hold on. Debbie, I think they'll be kicking us out of this room in a little while. So our relaxing fireside chat is going to turn into a little bit of a whirlwind here. Maybe we can just go around too, because first I want to thank all four of you as being pioneers, not only from the laboratory and science advancement side, but now from the industry pull side. We would not be where we are without you and your colleagues as well.

So I think with that maybe we can just go around, Bryan first, some key priorities to leave us with in terms of what the national lab collaboration with industry really means and how we can do better.

Bryan Pivovar: I mean it's really critical from my perspective to have the engagement. I think that it was said really well earlier, there is a role hopefully that we can help industry with in terms of enabling them to get to where they want to go. From my perspective, I'm mostly interested in hearing from people like Corky and Kathy as far as what's working and what else they need. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with the billion dollars going for clean electrolysis, it's basically how do we get to the gigawatt scale for these types of things and move it forward.

We can help with some of the science, we can help with some of the deployment potentially, but we can't do it without industry.

Eric Miller: Great. Thanks, Bryan. Debbie, words of wisdom.

Debbie Myers: So I think about six years ago DOE went to the consortium model, and I think it was a good model. And what I really appreciate is these advisory boards, the external advisory boards for M2FCT and for H2NEW that we get this sort of immediate feedback on our research. Because we want our research to be relevant and to push the field forward.

Eric Miller: Great. Thanks, Debbie. Corky.

Corky Mittelsteadt: Yeah. I really think of the national labs as kind of having—they have the same responsibilities as the cavalry has to our—by that I mean they do the advanced scouting and they're really the eyes and ears for the rest of us. They served that purpose already very well. And I think of the imaging and that we're just not able to do. And again, if we have people like Bryan and Debbie that have done such a great job to make sure that we're working on things that are relevant and look forward to more of it.

Eric Miller: Perfect. Thanks, Corky. And last word is you, Kathy.

Kathy Ayers: Yeah, so I will echo what Debbie said, but from the industrial perspective. I think the consortium model has been really fantastic. We had a HydroGEN project as well where we had access to different labs, and it really gave us the opportunity to sort of do this a la carte menu of the different skill sets that we needed for a specific project. And then similarly I think you can bring together team members from different sites to provide each of the specific skill sets you need, such as the Roll-to-Roll Consortium as well. So I'd like to see that continue with H2NEW.

Eric Miller: Great. Perfect. And with that I would like to thank all of our panelists who joined us today, quite a distinguished group. So I'm going to clap because I can do it in real-time. And with that I'm concluding our morning session. Thank you all. Please keep the comments coming in and please visit our website.

With that I think we're getting close to the next session at 1:30. I will turn it back over to ORAU to continue the sessions.