September 5 (Renewables Now) - A coalition proposing to create a clean hydrogen cluster in South Louisiana was on Friday awarded a USD-50-million (EUR 50m) federal grant by the US Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The project, called H2theFuture, is among the 21 winners of the USD-1-billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, a regional economic development competition, funded by US president Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan and managed by EDA.
Led by Greater New Orleans Inc and its affiliate Greater New Orleans Development Foundation, the project aims to move the regional hydrogen energy sector from fossil-based hydrogen to green hydrogen from renewable energy. A diagram of the project shows green hydrogen production from offshore wind.
The planned cluster will cover the clean hydrogen life cycle, from research and development (R&D) at Louisiana universities to an end-use project at the Port of South Louisiana. This will involve what is described as the first-ever US hydrogen fueling barge that will be located at Port of South Louisiana and will act as a clean fueling station for river vessels.
In addition to the grant, the State of Louisiana will provide USD 24.5 million in matching funds.
In its description of the project, EDA says that Louisiana has an urgent need for systemic economic diversification, noting that the region has lost more than 22,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry in the last decade.
“As the first state in the Gulf South to implement a Climate Action Plan, Louisiana has demonstrated the vision and leadership required to meet the historic challenge that climate change represents,” commented Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards.
(USD 1 = EUR 1.001)