West Virginia is part of a national project, a $7 billion announcement for a series of hydrogen energy production centers to be developed in seven regions. And now, according to Senator Joe Manchin, stay tuned for more.
“I’m telling you up front, by Monday afternoon, there will be a big gathering that will explain from A to Z what we’re doing and what to expect,” DW.Va’s Manchin said on MetroNews. “.
“You will be able to hear from people who are investing their money and betting on this site to complement what they are doing,” he added.
West Virginia will benefit from up to $925 million in federal grant money for interconnected hydrogen energy projects in the Appalachian region. President Joe Biden Make an announcement Friday about seven such projects in different regions. The funds are part of the Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act passed by Congress in 2021.
The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Center includes not only West Virginia, but also communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The center is not just one central facility, but instead represents a network of connected and collaborative facilities aimed at boosting the country’s production of hydrogen as a fuel.
The Appalachian hub will be connected to hydrogen pipelines, multiple hydrogen supply stations and a permanent carbon dioxide storage. Federal officials described the Appalachian region as a strategic location because it is rich in natural gas, which will be a raw material for hydrogen production.
During a background session with reporters, senior Biden administration officials described holding production at Bell in Kanawha County, Follansbee in Brooke County, Washington in Wood County, Point Pleasant in Mason County, and Fairmont in Marion County.
Aspects of development are likely to include:
- New facilities for manufacturing and assembling equipment for producing hydrogen from electricity and water.
- Establishing new facilities to produce hydrogen and ammonia using methane gas extracted from coal mines from abandoned mines.
- Projects to build new facilities or convert existing facilities to use hydrogen as a fuel for industrial manufacturing, chemical plants, data centers, power generation, and more.
- Distributing hydrogen to supply trucks, buses and other fuel cell vehicles.
- Pipeline infrastructure for transporting hydrogen and hydrogen blends from natural gas.
- Underground facilities to store carbon dioxide captured during blue hydrogen production.
The comprehensive project, called ARCH2, is expected to create more than 21,000 direct jobs – 18,000 due to construction and 3,000 workers for the centre.
“Now we should be able to connect the pipelines, but it will open up roughly 20,000 jobs, and most of them will be in West Virginia,” Manchin said. “Some parts are in Ohio and part of western Pennsylvania, but the core is in West Virginia, potentially.” The headquarters will be located in the north-central part of the country, in the Morgantown area.
Besides state governments, partners include EQT, Battelle, GTI Energy as well as Allegheny Science & Technology. Since its inception, the project has grown to include additional partners as well.
The Biden administration said that in addition to federal funding, there are more than $40 billion in private financing and it’s expected.
Manchin said private investment is key to the concept’s success. Federal dollars will need similar private funding, he said.
“People have to invest money,” Manchin said. “This is not the only federal government holding the ball.” “No, everyone has to put their skin in the game. You’ll be able to hear from them on Monday.”
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, D-West Virginia, said the hydrogen center project has great potential.
“You can use hydrogen to power cars, set up manufacturing processes, have fuel cells, power data centers because we know it consumes large amounts of energy, and I think that’s what the hydrogen hub will do across the country — especially the hub,” Capito said on Talkline. “The Appalachian record we have registered will be using natural gas, so we can use our own energy sources.”
“With these nodes, what you’re talking about is hydrogen manufacturing and storage facilities. So, for example, if you’re going to use hydrogen to create batteries, naturally if you’re developing hydrogen exploration there, for example, Bell, you’d naturally think it’s right next door “There will be a battery factory. So these will be manufacturing centers.”
Capito said that the project’s 40 partners will be key to the project’s success.
“So it’s not just saying that government entities are going to push this away. This will go to private industry where they will use the hydrogen centers to not only do further exploration but also develop new battery systems, new battery storage and ways to power this country through hydrogen.”
The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce applauded West Virginia’s participation in the Hydrogen Hub Activity Center.
“Our state is an energy leader and can help meet the world’s growing needs for affordable energy in the 21st century,” said Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber.
Gov. Jim Justice, who supported West Virginia’s bid for the center along with Capito and Manchin, also expressed his excitement.
“This is just another big step forward for the state of West Virginia, and for my good living,” Justice said at a news conference. The governor also acknowledged the public-private partnership, saying, “The state has coordinated many different systems between the public and private sectors.”
The Biden administration expects the centers to be key aspects of a clean energy economy with new jobs and economic opportunities.
Other hubs include: the Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Center, which marks the site Biden was visiting in Philadelphia; California Hydrogen Center; Hydrogen Center on the Texas Gulf Coast; Heartland Hydrogen Center in the upper Midwest; Midwest Hydrogen Center; and the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Center.
The H2Hubs, as they are sometimes called, are expected to collectively produce three million metric tons of hydrogen annually.
“As a clean fuel, hydrogen complements the role played by other clean energy sources, such as wind and solar, to help the United States reduce emissions in energy-intensive sectors of the economy: steel and cement production, heavy transportation, and shipping,” the White House said in a statement.
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