Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association
About Our Work
In 2022 the U.S. Department of Energy announced a grant program designed to establish Hydrogen Hubs across the country.
With its strength in growing its own green economy, Washington State has responded to the request with a private-public partnership intended to jumpstart the state’s transition to clean hydrogen, particularly to decarbonize sectors such as maritime, aviation, and heavy industry.
The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association brings together key players in the industry to respond to the opportunity, build the infrastructure necessary to form such a hub and integrate it into the state’s clean energy portfolio, eliminate fossil fuels from its electricity generation portfolio by 2045 and adopt a 100% clean electricity standard as well as net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, Washington State stands at the forefront of new energy exploration and adoption.
Association partners include the Consortium for Hydrogen and Renewably Generated E-Fuels (CHARGE) Network, Renewable Hydrogen Alliance (RHA), Washington Green Hydrogen Alliance, Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and many private corporations, utilities, and ports. These partners all have the common goal of securing a Hydrogen Hub in the Pacific Northwest.
Gov. Jay Inslee directed the Washington State Department of Commerce to coordinate the formation of a single entity to respond to the anticipated U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Hub (H2Hub) Funding Opportunity Announcement. This entity will build on the region’s history of collaboration and develop a compelling, results-oriented Pacific Northwest regional H2Hub proposal. Washington State and the Pacific Northwest provide a policy and energy landscape critical to the success of an H2Hub.
Development of Shared Principles
Our shared principles will guide the development of the overall hub structure strategy specific projects and policies. These principles should seek to enhance human well-being and bring an equity lens, while being responsive to local needs and priorities in each region. Principles should ensure an equitable distribution of energy and non-energy benefits from the hydrogen economy. These principles should seek to reflect and incorporate recommendations in the Washington State Energy Strategy (including following pathways to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and centering equity provisions), as well as additional guidance and recommendations related to the hydrogen economy.
Equity, Environmental and Energy Justice Plan
H2Hub activities should include the development of an Equity, Environmental and Energy Justice (EEEJ) plan as an early Phase 1 activity. An EEEJ plan should be specific to each region and proposed hub, and should reference and propose to act in accordance with any state-level EEEJ laws, including the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act in Washington State. They should also be aligned with the federal Justice40 Initiative. These plans would ensure all relevant stakeholders and Tribal sovereigns are at the table early and on a continuous basis as states like Washington develop this transformation of the energy economy.
Workforce Development and Jobs Plan
Each H2Hub should develop a specific plan regarding how workforce development will occur, as an early Phase 1 activity. This should include consideration of how to utilize tools that support high labor standards and good, ideally, union jobs, including but not limited to: apprenticeship utilization; use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)/Community Workforce Agreements (CWAs) that include labor standards; tools that support the participation of Women-, Minority/BIPOC-, and Veteran-owned businesses and workers; commitments to utilize local and US-made materials where possible; and policies that provide employment and training to workers in the fossil fuel and related sectors, with a focus on training and transition to clean energy jobs that utilize similar transferrable skills.
In addition to ideally having Tribal governments as part of each hub, Tribal engagement activities are critical in relation to specific proposed activities and projects. Such engagement should include formal Government to Government consultation when requested by Tribes, and other communication strategies for Tribes that choose not to participate in H2Hub planning but may be impacted by the work. State Tribal liaisons are also important resource people to include as part of proposal development.
Work planning and implementing hydrogen hubs must include meaningful community engagement activities, implemented in accordance with the EEEJ plan. Planners should seek the involvement of community stakeholders based on geographical proximity, potential to be impacted (e.g., along transportation routes, and potential to perceive positive) or negative impacts, (e.g., community organizations and neighborhood associations). Community engagement should seek to educate those potentially impacted about the technologies involved, reducing any effects from misinformation or lack of information on project timing, as well as providing opportunities to receive input that may improve the EEEJ outcomes of proposed H2Hub projects and activities.
Use of Mapping and Geospatial Tools & Data to Advance Equity
These may include environmental justice mapping tools such as the Environmental Health Disparities (EHD) map in Washington State and/or other environmental, health, economic, risk and hazard, or related databases that can help identify geographic areas where benefits of H2Hub projects and activities may be placed to help to improve health and well-being and reduce environmental health disparities.
Domestic, Clean Technology Manufacturing
Washington maintains a strong focus on the economic development potential inherent in the energy system transformation underway. Using the H2Hubs to lay the groundwork for increasing the domestic manufacturing of all parts of the hydrogen supply chain is highly desirable. The U.S. will not be a true leader in the coming global hydrogen economy if the advanced manufacturing of hydrogen-related equipment, and related workforce expertise, reside outside of our country.
Energy Emergency Management & Planning
State energy emergency management offices are responsible for developing and implementing statewide emergency management plans and energy resilience plans for each of the sectors represented including renewable resources. Collaboration between the energy emergency management office and state agencies, local jurisdictions, Tribal Nations, and special purpose districts in the development and implementation of any of these plans is vital to ensuring the reliability of the system and will have critical and relevant information for supporting energy-resilient program design.
Industry Cluster Development
Commerce’s Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program is supporting the development and maturation of industry-led consortia working to accelerate innovation and economic growth in nine key sectors in Washington state, including the following relevant to the H2Hub: CHARGE hydrogen energy cluster; CleanTech Alliance, advancing carbon reduction in the built environment; Maritime Blue, working to decarbonize the maritime sector; and Washington VERTical, working to build the advanced nuclear reactor supply chain.