U.S. Partnerships Boost Hydrogen Economy Development – Eurasia Review

Argonne National Laboratory has partnered with Constellation Energy Corp to develop carbon-free power generation technologies, including a project focused on generating hydrogen from nuclear power plants, while Bloom Energy and Excel Energy announced hydrogen production plans at a Minnesota nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has opened applications for a $7 billion program to create regional clean hydrogen centers.

The new cooperative research and development agreement will see Argonne and Constellation – America’s largest carbon-free power producer with the nation’s largest nuclear fleet – work together to assess trends in the nation’s energy system and develop technologies for a more efficient and carbon-free generation.

One of the projects supported under the agreement, which runs until October 2028, will focus on using hydrogen from nuclear energy to store and transmit energy in the power supply of rescue, transportation and various other applications. Argonne researchers are already working with Constellation to assess market demand for hydrogen as well as the environmental and economic impacts of hydrogen production, storage and delivery, the partners said.

“Clean hydrogen produced from carbon-free nuclear has the power to transform hard-to-decarbonize industries. By combining Constellation’s leading carbon-free energy resources with electrolysis technologies and technical expertise from the National Laboratory of ‘Argonne, we have the opportunity to deliver real-world solutions to combat the growing threats of climate change,’ said Colleen Wright, Constellation’s vice president of corporate strategy.

Mark Petri, network security and resiliency manager at Argonne, said the agreement would help the lab align its R&D with industry needs while giving industry access to technical capabilities and the lab’s expertise, and described Constellation as an ideal industrial partner. “We can immediately turn our projects into field studies, pilots and adoption. We want to make a difference and help the nation address climate change issues, but we can’t do that without industry,” he said.

Electrolyser for Prairie Island

On Sept. 19, Bloom Energy announced plans to install an electrolyzer at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear power plant in Minnesota, which it says will create “immediate and scalable pathways to produce clean, cost-effective hydrogen.” “.

Bloom’s solid oxide electrolyzer operates at high temperatures to convert water to hydrogen, and will use the high heat and steam produced by the nuclear facility to produce carbon-free hydrogen more efficiently than low-temperature electrolysis alternatives like polymer or alkaline electrolyte membrane, the company said.

Engineering for the 240 kW demonstration is currently underway, with construction expected to begin in late 2023 and energization expected in early 2024, Bloom said.

Hydrogen poles

Earlier this year, the DOE announced plans to develop regional clean hydrogen hubs – H2Hubs – as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. H2Hubs will create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers and local connecting infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.

The $7 billion funding opportunity announced today is part of the larger $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded by President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, described by the DOE as one of the investments most important in its history. This is a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for the future of clean hydrogen, said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

For this initial launch of the funding opportunity, the DOE aims to select six to ten hubs. Additional funding opportunities may follow to accelerate and expand the network of clean hydrogen projects.