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New York governor announces $10 MM to advance R&D in clean H2 projects

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $10-MM initiative to advance innovative clean H2 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 H2 funding opportunities. The announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce emissions 85% by 2050 and transition to 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.

“Investing in clean H2 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 H2 ecosystem which includes the Northeast Regional Clean H2 Hub (NE Hub) effort. While the NE Hub work focuses on clean H2 deployment across the broader Northeast region, the initiative 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 H2 including:

  • H2 applications to decarbonize industrial process heat
  • Clean H2 production and integration with renewable energy such as solar and offshore wind
  • Mitigation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in H2 combustion
  • H2 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.

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-H2 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.”

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% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85% 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 H2 hub project deployment, and strengthen the regional H2 strategy put forth by the NE Hub partners including New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont, and over 100 H2 ecosystem partners, who collaborated on the development of a proposal submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy in early April for H2 hub funding and designation as a regional hub under the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act. This regional strategy includes:

  • Prioritization of clean electrolytic H2 integrating electrolyzers with renewable energy such as solar and wind
  • Utilization of clean H2 to decarbonize hard-to-electrify sectors. H2 application to decarbonize industrial process heat, which accounts for more than 60% 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 B 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 H2 production with renewables, focusing on applications to mitigate localized pollution impacts in Disadvantaged Communities, and controlling emissions of NOx resulting from H2 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 H2 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 H2 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 H2 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 H2 and fuel cell technologies. NYSERDA, as a member, has access to the latest information on H2 safety best practices while supporting the development of H2 technologies in New York State.”