Governor Hochul announces Vermont joins efforts to create a regional clean hydrogen hub

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Vermont has signed on to a multi-state agreement, joining with New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, to develop a proposal to become one of up to 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs designated through the federal Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub of seven states and more than 100 clean hydrogen ecosystem partners is moving forward to develop and submit a full proposal to the United States Department of Energy to compete for funding through the $8 billion program. Today’s announcement advances each State’s leadership in clean hydrogen infrastructure deployment and their respective climate commitments. Specifically for New York, this work supports the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.

“New York is pleased to welcome the State of Vermont to a diverse group of partners who have committed to advancing a connected clean hydrogen economy in the Northeast,” Governor Hochul said. “Adding this elemental resource to our clean energy economy toolbox will advance our collective emissions reduction and climate goals because like our joint effort, air has no borders.”

Since the initial announcement in March 2022 and update in August 2022, the Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub has continued to add strategic partners representing all parts of the clean hydrogen ecosystem, including private sector industry leaders, infrastructure and logistics experts, non-profits, technology and equipment manufacturers, hydrogen project developers, transportation leaders, utilities and state agencies.

In addition, Adam Zurofsky has been named New York State’s Interim Director of the Northeast Regional Hydrogen Hub effort. In that capacity, Adam will oversee the process of submitting a final application to the Department of Energy, working with the partner states and other stakeholders to maximize the impact of the Hub and its ability to advance shared priorities. Adam previously served as Deputy Secretary for Energy and Finance for the State of New York and was the Founding Executive Director of Rewiring America, a non-profit dedicated to advancing economically beneficial decarbonization strategies. Adam also teaches climate policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub partners have committed to collaborate with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Empire State Development (ESD) on proposal development to advance clean hydrogen projects. Partnering states will also coordinate with their respective state entities to help align the collaborative’s efforts with each state’s climate and clean energy goals. These include Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, Massachusetts’ goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, Maine’s statutory goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and reduce gross greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, Rhode Island’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2033 and Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act goal, which requires Vermont to reduce greenhouse gas pollution 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The New York Climate Action Council Scoping Plan, approved in December 2022, identifies strategic use of low-carbon fuels such as clean hydrogen as an important means to support rapid and widespread building efficiency and electrification that is needed to achieve the goals of the Climate Act, particularly in sectors that are challenging to electrify, such as transportation and heavy industry.

With the execution of these agreements, the partners will join those previously announced to further define a shared vision and framework for the regional clean hydrogen hub to ensure a connected hydrogen ecosystem across all partner states with quantifiable greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The Hub proposal will be developed with climate and environmental justice central to its strategy to deliver opportunities and improved quality of life to underserved areas across the region.

The group will continue to focus on the integration of renewables – such as onshore and offshore wind, hydropower, and solar PV – and nuclear power into clean hydrogen production, and the evaluation of clean hydrogen for use in transportation, including for medium and heavy- duty vehicles, heavy industry, and power generation applications or other appropriate uses consistent with decarbonization efforts.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) issued an initial Clean Hydrogen Hubs Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in September 2022 with concept papers due November 7, 2022. Notification of DOE’s determination that the Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub should move forward with full proposal development was received on December 27, 2022, with submissions due by April 7, 2023. Proposals may be awarded up to a maximum of $1.25 billion.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Joining an already robust group of partners, Vermont and new strategic partners from academia, industry, utilities, the non-profit sector, and other areas, have further strengthened the Northeast’s case for selection as one of the nation’s clean hydrogen hubs. The level of commitment and collaboration amongst this group demonstrates the scope and scale necessary to establish the ecosystem needed for the industry to grow and for the region to be a leader in clean hydrogen.”

New York Power Authority Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “The Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub team of partners is unique in that it brings together a collaborative, renewable energy focused group that is poised to move our clean energy economy forward through innovation and cooperation. The New York Power Authority supports hydrogen technology companies through low-cost power allocations and has been a first mover in hydrogen research and development. We at NYPA are proud to be part of the Northeast Hub consortium and we stand at the ready to help develop nation-leading hydrogen solutions that will have lasting benefits for our economy and our environment.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “As we work to achieve Governor Hochul’s ambitious climate goals, New York State is made even stronger by being among the growing coalition of states and more than 100 public private and academic partners that are joining forces for clean energy. Vermont’s addition to a multi-state agreement to propose a Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub is building strong momentum that will ultimately lead to clean energy jobs and a greener economic future for New Yorkers.”

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said, “It’s great to have our neighbors to the north in Vermont join the Northeast Clean Hydrogen Hub and make what was already a strong coalition and candidate to secure designation as one of the country’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs even stronger. There is so much talent, ingenuity, and innovative spirit among our businesses, research institutions, universities, industry experts, and state agencies in the northeast that make us a compelling candidate, and I look forward to the submission of our full proposal in the spring.”

Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner June E. Tierney said, “To tackle climate change, we’ll need a multi-pronged approach that relies on innovation and cooperation. In Vermont, we’re working to do our part and ready to collaborate with the other states across our region in exploring ways to promote a clean energy future.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy Executive Director Jane Cohen said, “New Jersey is excited to see the Northeast’s green economy ecosystem continue to expand through the addition of our nation-leading universities and major companies doing business in our state. We look forward to working alongside Vermont and the growing ranks of our regional partners as we strive toward a clean energy future for all.”

Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper said, “Massachusetts welcomes the State of Vermont and other new partners to our clean hydrogen coalition. The critical work of reducing our carbon emissions and meeting our climate goals can only be accomplished if we work together. Together, we will develop clean hydrogen and build economic opportunity across the region. The Northeast continues to be a leader in addressing the climate crisis, and this partnership is just another step toward our shared vision of a clean energy future.”

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