Welcome to the latest newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), in collaboration with other offices in the DOE Hydrogen Program! This newsletter is a quarterly resource that includes a recap of recent news and events, as well as a preview of upcoming activities. Visit the archives for past newsletters.
In this issue:
- In the News
- Funding Opportunities
- Engagement Opportunities
- Webinars, Workshops, and Events
- Studies, Reports, and Publications
In the News
President Biden Visits Cummins Power Generation Facility
On April 3, President Biden visited the Cummins Power Generation Facility in Fridley, Minnesota, where later this month Cummins will dedicate 89,000 square feet of the facility to electrolyzer production.
“When Cummins first manufactured hydrogen electrolyzers, they had to make them overseas … But now, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act with the tax credits for renewable energy, Cummins is going to manufacture these electrolyzers here in America for the first time,” said President Biden. “Here at this plant, 600 workers now making diesel engines will be re-trained, and an additional 100 jobs—so a total of 700 jobs—will be making clean energy technology.”
Cummins, which has been a partner of HFTO since 2004, is currently working with the office on two projects to develop and demonstrate high-volume manufacturing processes for solid oxide electrolyzer cells and stacks and to advance proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems for heavy-duty transportation applications. Learn more about President Biden’s visit, read his full remarks, or watch a video of the event.
Nine Mile Point Begins Hydrogen Production
In March, Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Station in Oswego, New York, announced a major milestone as the first facility of its kind in the United States to generate clean hydrogen using nuclear power. This nuclear milestone is part of a $14.5 million cost-shared project between DOE and Constellation Energy Corporation to demonstrate how nuclear power plants can help lower the cost and scale up the production of clean hydrogen. Constellation’s Hydrogen Generation System produces hydrogen without emissions, and the Nine Mile Point project is one of four projects supported by DOE to demonstrate clean hydrogen production at commercial nuclear power plants. Hydrogen produced using nuclear energy is a key pillar of DOE’s clean hydrogen efforts to achieve the Hydrogen Shot Goal of lowering the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade.
DOE Awards $7.4 Million for Seven Projects for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Corridors, Expansion of EV Charging in Underserved Communities
In February, DOE awarded $7.4 million to seven projects to develop medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen corridor infrastructure plans that will benefit millions of American drivers. These projects will be administered by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office and HFTO. They will also support efforts to improve air quality in underserved areas of major American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, and Salt Lake City.
DOE Awards $4.5 Million for Turbine Efficiency Research to Reduce Carbon Footprint of Power and Aviation Sectors, Including Hydrogen for Power Production
In March, DOE announced $4.5 million in funding for Pennsylvania State University to study ways to improve turbine performance and efficiency. This research also supports hydrogen power production and will use simulations to assess the combustion efficiency of using hydrogen and hydrogen blends, along with other fuels. The project will also leverage existing efforts from other government agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as industry partners Honeywell, Siemens, Solar Turbines, and Pratt & Whitney. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) will manage this project.
DOE Announces $750 Million in Funding for Electrolysis, Manufacturing, and Recycling
In March, DOE announced the availability of $750 million for research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) efforts to dramatically reduce the cost of clean hydrogen. This funding is the first phase of the $1.5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) dedicated to advancing electrolysis technologies and improving manufacturing and recycling capabilities. It is a crucial component of the administration’s comprehensive approach to accelerating the widespread use of clean hydrogen and will play a vital role in achieving commercial-scale clean-hydrogen deployment this decade.
Projects funded through this opportunity will address underlying technical barriers to cost reduction that can’t be overcome by scale alone and will ensure that today’s emerging commercial-scale deployments will achieve long-term viability with tomorrow’s lower-cost, higher-performing technology. HFTO will administer this funding, which is provided by two BIL provisions created as amendments to the Energy Policy Act of 2005—Section 815, which provides $500 million in funding for clean hydrogen manufacturing and recycling, and Section 816, which provides $1 billion for RD&D of electrolysis technologies. The due date for concept papers was April 19, 2023, and full applications are due on July 19, 2023. Learn more about this funding opportunity.
DOE Announces $47 Million to Develop Affordable Clean Hydrogen Technologies
In January, DOE announced up to $47 million in funding to accelerate the RD&D of affordable clean hydrogen technologies. This funding opportunity, which is administered by HFTO, focuses on RD&D of key hydrogen delivery and storage technologies as well as affordable and durable fuel cell technologies. Fuel cell RD&D projects will focus on applications for heavy-duty trucks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate harmful tailpipe emissions. Concept papers were due February 24, 2023, and full applications are due on April 28, 2023.
DOE Technology Commercialization Fund Accepting Applications for Hydrogen Leakage Detection and Quantification Technologies
In March, DOE announced that FECM, in collaboration with the DOE Office of Technology Transitions, is accepting applications to their Fiscal Year 2023 Technology Commercialization Fund Base Annual Appropriations National Laboratory Call for FECM Program-Led Topics. Topics include “Hydrogen Quantification” for technologies that can quantify leakage of hydrogen during its production, distribution, storage, and use, with detection capabilities in ambient air at the parts-per-million or parts-per-billion level. Read more about the entire lab call. Applications are due May 25, 2023.
DOE Will Offer Technical Assistance for Onsite Energy Including Fuel Cells
In February, DOE announced a $23 million funding opportunity to establish a regional network of Onsite Energy Technical Assistance Partnerships to help industrial facilities and other large energy users increase the adoption of onsite clean-energy technologies. Administered by the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), this opportunity seeks applications from entities with expertise in onsite storage—including stationary fuel cells—who are interested in providing technical assistance services within a regional network. Learn more about the onsite energy program.
DOE Announces $156 Million for Projects to Drive Industrial Decarbonization, Including Through Hydrogen Technologies
In March, DOE announced a $156 million funding opportunity to advance high-impact applied RD&D projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. industrial sector. Administered by IEDO, this funding opportunity will drive innovation of hydrogen and next-generation technologies needed to decarbonize industry and develop a clean energy economy. HFTO’s efforts to decarbonize the industrial sector are part of DOE’s Technologies for Industrial Emissions Reduction Development (TIEReD) Program, which leverages resources across different technology offices to invest in fundamental science, research, development, and pilot-scale demonstration projects. The funding opportunity builds upon the 2022 Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap and a DOE funding opportunity released last September, and is part of the TIEReD Program.
DOE Announces $200 Million for Energy Earthshots Centers
In January, DOE announced $200 million for Energy Earthshot Research Centers. This funding, provided by the Office of Science, will support fundamental research to address key basic research challenges for DOE’s Energy Earthshots, including the Hydrogen Earthshot to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 for 1 kilogram in 1 decade.
Employment Opportunities and Internships
Interested in becoming a clean energy champion? HFTO has its own hiring page with open positions for technical experts to assist with the office’s hydrogen production, hydrogen infrastructure, and manufacturing efforts. There are many other ways to get involved, too, including the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Science, Technology, and Policy Fellowships (such as the Hydrogen Shot Fellowship); careers; and internships. Stay up to date on EERE opportunities and subscribe to the EERE Career Opportunities email list.
Interested in Becoming a Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Project Reviewer?
HFTO is looking for a diverse pool of subject matter experts to review applications for federal funding programs. Desired areas of expertise include (but are not limited to):
- Hydrogen production, storage, and delivery
- Hydrogen fuel cell technologies
- Hydrogen and energy infrastructure
- Integrated energy systems
- Recycling and recovery
- System integration
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Safety, codes and standards.
Webinars, Workshops, and Events
DOE Hydrogen Program AMR Registration Is Open
The DOE Hydrogen Program’s 2023 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR) will take place June 5–8. Projects funded by the Hydrogen Program will be presented and reviewed for their merit. This annual event showcases DOE’s hydrogen portfolio and its work to address climate and clean energy priorities effectively and equitably. The 2023 AMR is returning to Arlington, Virginia, as a hybrid event. Attendees can join in-person or virtually to get updates on progress and accomplishments from DOE’s hydrogen and fuel cell projects. View the detailed meeting agenda for a comprehensive schedule of events and presentations. Attendees for any portion of the AMR (virtually or in-person)—including invited presenters and reviewers—must register in advance of the meeting. Learn more about registration options on the 2023 AMR website.
HFTO Celebrates Women’s History Month
In March, HFTO celebrated Women’s History month by hosting a Ride n’ Drive in collaboration with Professional Opportunities for Women at Energy Realized (POWER), one of DOE’s Employee Resource Groups. POWER colleagues and members of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity and other DOE offices had the opportunity to test drive a hydrogen fuel cell car. They also heard from HFTO Director and DOE Hydrogen Program Coordinator, Dr. Sunita Satyapal, about how hydrogen and fuel cell technologies work and their potential to drive us to a clean and equitable energy future.
H2IQ Hour Webinar Recordings and Presentations Are Available
HFTO hosts monthly H2IQ Hour webinars to share information about the status and progress of DOE-funded hydrogen and fuel cell projects and initiatives, and to provide a forum for exploration and discussion of general hydrogen and fuel cell topics. Recent H2IQ Hour topics included: H2NEW Consortium Overview, Electrolyzer Development Capabilities, and Highlights; and an Overview of Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Technologies. Recordings and presentation slides are available on the H2IQ Hour webinar page.
HFTO Collaborates for Hydrogen Career Insights Webinar
In lieu of March’s H2IQ Hour, HFTO collaborated with the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy's (IPHE) Early Career Network (ECN) and NOW GmbH for the March Early Career Network: H2 Career Insights webinar. The webinar featured HFTO’s Asha-Dee Celestine along with Tim Karlsson from IPHE and Luisa Boll from NOW GmbH, who shared their perspectives on various career trajectories in the field before an informative Q&A session.
HFTO and Mission Innovation Collaborate on Membrane Innovation Webinar
In March, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in collaboration with HFTO and Mission Innovation hosted a Membrane Innovation webinar on commercial polymer electrolyte membrane technology for fuel cells and electrolyzers based on perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers (PFSA). PFSA-based materials face increasing barriers globally due to potentially detrimental environmental impacts of the manufacturing chemicals used. The webinar discussed current PFSA manufacturing and integration challenges for membrane suppliers and stack/system manufacturers, as well as the materials, performance, durability, and manufacturing challenges associated with environmentally friendly alternatives to standard PFSA ionomers and membranes. Presentations will soon be available on the registration page.
HFTO Participates in High-Profile National Events
So far this year, HFTO has participated in several national and international events, including the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Seminar, CERAWeek, Fuel Cell Expo–Japan, and the American Hydrogen Forum. Highlights from the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Seminar included keynote addresses from HFTO Director and DOE Hydrogen Program Coordinator, Dr. Sunita Satyapal, and Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Jeff Marootian. The seminar also featured a DOE-led workshop on enabling decarbonization with clean hydrogen at scale. Events such as these offer a valuable opportunity for the DOE Hydrogen Program to interact with industry and other stakeholder groups and provide a forum to communicate important programmatic updates and to gain insight into stakeholder interests and needs. Many of the Hydrogen Program’s event presentations can be found on HFTO’s program presentations webpage.
DOE Releases Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Clean Hydrogen—among First Three “Liftoff” Reports
In March, DOE announced its Pathways to Commercial Liftoff reports, a new department-wide initiative to strengthen engagement between the public and private sectors and accelerate the commercialization and deployment of key clean energy technologies. The reports provide the private sector and other industry partners a valuable, engagement-driven resource on how and when certain technologies—beginning with clean hydrogen, advanced nuclear power, and long duration energy storage—can reach full scale deployment. This new initiative underscores the critical role that DOE plays in enabling widespread commercial adoption of the clean energy technologies that are essential to meeting the administration’s ambitious goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. The Clean Hydrogen liftoff report examines how the clean hydrogen market is well-positioned to reach full-scale commercialization—thanks to transformational policies and programs like the regional clean hydrogen hubs, tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, and ongoing RD&D in the DOE Hydrogen Program. This report also discusses challenges associated with infrastructure buildout, demand uncertainty, workforce development, and other impediments to at-scale adoption that need to be addressed for clean hydrogen to realize its full potential. Read the Liftoff reports.
HFTO Releases Draft FAQ
In March, HFTO released a draft version of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. This online resource provides answers to several of the questions most often asked of HFTO and the Hydrogen Program. As an educational tool, the FAQs are a living resource and will be continually updated as more questions arise. This online resource is supplemented by a FAQ draft document, which provides more-detailed answers to some of the questions, along with links to additional references.
Laboratory and Industry Partners Recognized as Pioneering Women
In February, several women working in projects funded by HFTO and DOE were recognized as pioneering women in applied physics research and development in “The 2022 applied physics by pioneering women: a roadmap” in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. The women recognized for their contributions included Huyen Dinh (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Christina Johnston (Bosch), Olga Marina (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Karren More (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Debbie Myers (Argonne National Laboratory), Svitlana Pylypenko (Colorado School of Mines), and Jia Wang (Brookhaven National Laboratory). The fuel cell section of the article was authored by other women pioneers in the field: Katherine Ayers (Nel Hydrogen), Ji-Won Son (Energy Materials Research Center), and Iryna Zenyuk (National Fuel Cell Research Center). The article celebrates women’s accomplishments, highlights established and early career researchers, and promotes increased visibility for the impact women have on applied physics research.
HFTO Spotlight Series
HFTO’s Spotlight Series celebrates individuals working in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, including early career professionals and individuals who have dedicated their careers to paving the way and removing barriers for following generations. These spotlights emphasize the stories of individuals from historically underserved and underrepresented communities. The most recent spotlights celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month.
Stay current with hydrogen and clean energy news!
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