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TEXAS HYDROGEN FUEL PROJECT SET TO BE A MASSIVE HUB

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Two years after a Texas-based hydrogen fuel project received its funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE), it is lined up to become a huge American H2 hub. This was announced at the RE+ Texas conference that took place recently in San Antonio.

Passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill last fall gave the DOE a May 14 deadline to provide a minimum of four regional hydrogen fuel projects a funding opportunity totalling $8 billion in available funds. That said, it now appears that the DOE may be looking into approving up to 10 of these H2 centres. While there will be more of them, this means there will be less federal funding per centre.

The three-year project launched in Texas was originally a collaboration between Frontier Energy and the University of Texas at Austin. Frontier is a subsidiary of the Gas Technology Institute. Since launch, additional corporate sponsors have come on board to fund its way forward.

Having said that, in Texas and beyond was one of 18 recipients of a total of approximately $64 million in funding from the DOE’s Office of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies. That office is within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and Shell are among several corporate sponsors that have invested in Texas and beyond. Additionally, other companies have been showing their own interest in supporting the team’s efforts, providing themselves with an entry into the H2 industry, according to Gas Technology Institute senior director of hydrogen business development, Brian Weeks, in an interview with RE+ Texas.

As a result, the initial strategy has now been expanded to include an evaluation of multiple applications and will act as a “hydrogen proto-centre” in Texas, according to Weeks. “It also has the greatest technical potential in the US,” he added, looking specifically at the major network of H2 pipelines that could become the basis for a regional hub stretching from Corpus Christie in Texas to Louisiana.

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Jeroen Graaf

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