Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association
The PNWH2 Hub
The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2) collaborated with key industry members, community, Tribal and other partners to led a regional effort to respond to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program funding opportunity.
As proposed, the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNWH2 Hub) would build the infrastructure necessary to form a hydrogen hub and integrate it into the clean energy portfolios of Washington, Oregon and Montana. The hub’s efforts would help eliminate fossil fuels from the region’s transportation and electricity generation portfolio by 2045 and help achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Pacific Northwest’s low-cost, low-carbon power grid and environmentally focused state policies, combined with strong community benefits programs and federal incentives, can enable a commercially viable clean hydrogen ecosystem earlier than many other regions.
At the forefront of new energy exploration and adoption
Once negotiations with DOE conclude – anticipated in winter 2024 – The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNWH2 Hub) will begin validating DOE’s vision of a national clean hydrogen network by deploying clean hydrogen technologies and infrastructure that accelerate the transition to clean hydrogen energy production and use.
With this clean hydrogen hub, the Pacific Northwest can continue its history of forging innovative paths to meet the region’s clean energy and climate goals. Clean hydrogen can be part of the solution that meets our climate goals, prioritizes equity, balances tradeoffs and supports our economy.
Federal investment drives large-scale hydrogen production
Within a decade, the federal investment will help lower the cost of producing hydrogen in our region to enable the establishment of a network of production, storage and distribution systems and spur the investment and use of clean hydrogen in major industries – like our freight and other transportation systems – that will be harder to transition to clean hydrogen energy use.
For example, large-scale sustainable hydrogen fuel production could unlock additional investment in infrastructure and end-use applications, including public transit and trucking fleets, regional aircraft and ground support equipment, cruise ship refueling, hydrogen barges and ferries, and near-shore standby power for marine industries.
The PNWH2 Hub involves many partners, including Tribes, community-based organizations, unions, universities, and more, along with public sector and private industry representatives and state agencies.
Companies with projects proposed as part of the PNWH2 Hub include the following:
- Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy US LLC
- ALA Renewable Energy LLC
- Amazon.com, Inc.
- Atlas Agro
- Centralia College
- First Mode
- Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc.
- Northwest Seaport Alliance
- NovoHydrogen Development, Inc.
- PACCAR Inc
- Portland General Electric Company (PGE)
- PUD No. 1 of Douglas County
- Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
- St. Regis Solar, LLC
- Twin Transit
- USA Fortescue Future Industries, Inc.
- Williams Field Services Group, LLC
PNWH2 Hub Community Briefings
PowerPoint – October 30, 2023
Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED)
Frequently Asked Questions – PNWH2 Hub
Why is the Pacific Northwest a good location for a Hydrogen Hub?
The Pacific Northwest’s abundant low-carbon power and environmentally focused state policies, combined with strong community benefits programs and federal incentives, have the potential to enable a commercially viable ecosystem more quickly than regions with fossil-energy-dependent power grids.
How long will it take for the hub to be created/for projects to come online?
Establishing the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub will be a long-term effort, with our proposed projects coming online as soon as feasible following DOE’s multi-phase process that includes the government providing go/no-go decisions along the way.
While hydrogen use is common, many of the infrastructure and connected systems to produce hydrogen from renewable sources and utilize clean hydrogen in our heavy transportation and other hard-to-reach industries do not exist yet.
The national goal is to achieve a carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050. So, this is a massive effort that will require industry and government to take an all-hands-on-deck approach.
What are the four phases DOE has defined for hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs)?
- Phase 1 (Year 1) will encompass initial planning and analysis activities to ensure that the overall H2Hub concept is technologically and financially viable, building on existing engagement with local communities to include further input from Tribes and relevant partners and stakeholders.
- Phase 2 (Up to 2 Years) includes finalizing engineering designs and business development, site access, labor agreements, permitting, offtake agreements and community engagement activities.
- Phase 3 (Approximately 2 – 4 Years) will focus on the implementation – installation, integration and construction activities.
- Phase 4 (Approximately 2-4 Years) will ramp up the H2Hub to full operations, including data collection to analyze the H2Hub’s operations, performance and financial viability.
Where will the hydrogen be used?
We plan to use all the clean hydrogen produced by the PNWH2 Hub in the Pacific Northwest. Strong greenhouse gas reduction and clean fuel policies mean that the Pacific Northwest will have a strong demand market for clean hydrogen.
What major end uses will be financially supported?
The PNWH2 Hub will create a robust network of clean, renewable hydrogen suppliers and end-users focused on some of the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors important to our region’s economy, such as hard-to-electrify heavy-duty transportation, port operations, agriculture and industrial operations.
Is aviation fuel included?
At this time, the PNWH2 Hub has no aviation-related projects as part of our proposal, although offtake customers may use our clean hydrogen at airports or to make sustainable aviation fuel. Keep in mind that this is a 10- to 15-year effort. We anticipate there may be a lot of change and discovery throughout the life of this endeavor and we are excited to be part of the journey.
How were proposed projects selected to be in the PNWH2 Hub?
In 2022, we issued three Requests for Interest (RFIs) for organizations to submit projects for review and potential inclusion in the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub.
Our Project Selection Committee recommended projects to the board that best met the hub criteria provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, leveraged the region’s renewable resources and reflected the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s vision for strong collaboration with Tribal and local communities and strong environmental justice programs.
Are the projects publicly or privately owned?
We have both public and private companies with proposed PNWH2 Hub projects.
DOE’s hydrogen hub initiative offers a rare opportunity to create public-private partnerships at a regional scale to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in carbon-intensive industries and bring high-paying clean energy careers here as part of a new hydrogen economy.
Although we are eligible to receive up to $1 billion in federal funding over four DOE-defined development phases spanning nine years, with $20 million allocated for Phase 1, DOE’s Hydrogen Hub program requires each hub to provide at least 50% or more of the total project cost. The final funding will be determined during negotiations with the DOE and over 75% of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub cost-share funds are expected to be provided by our private sector partners.
Additionally, Washington state contributed $2 million in 2022 toward hub planning, and Washington and Oregon provided resources and staff support for the PNWH2 Hub. Also, Washington committed an additional $20 million in state funding in 2024, contingent upon award.
What kinds of jobs will be created by the PNWH2 Hub?
We expect to create or support jobs in multiple industries, including construction (pipefitting, steelwork, welding, carpentry, etc.), infrastructure maintenance and operations (engineers, chemists, field technicians, etc.), transportation (mechanics, operators, vehicle design/construction, etc.), and management (planners, accountants, business development, marketing, etc.).
Where will the construction labor and other workers come from?
The PNWH2 Hub projects plan to hire locally to the greatest extent possible. The PNWH2 Hub will be working with local colleges, universities, and K-12 school programs to develop and train the future hydrogen workforce, and develop programs to support workers displaced from the carbon economy.
What commitment to union labor will be made?
We have committed to negotiating Project Labor Agreements for all projects over $1 million and investing in joint labor-management/state-registered apprenticeship programs.
Workforce commitments include priority hiring programs for former coal industry workers and investing more than $4 million in the Centralia College training center to provide worker training.
How will the PNWH2 Hub collaborate with the ARCHES2 Hub?
We see many opportunities as we work through negotiations and begin to finalize the PNWH2 Hub scope. One area highlighted by the DOE is through the creation of a hydrogen-enabled, clean, heavy-duty trucking corridor along the entire West Coast of the U.S.
How will the DOE funding help projects offset the expenses associated with hydrogen production?
Within a decade, the federal investment will help lower hydrogen production costs in our region and nationwide and establish a network of clean production, storage and distribution infrastructure. Those advancements will accelerate the use of clean hydrogen.
We also expect hydrogen will be available for use by individuals and organizations in hard-to-decarbonize industries. The specific cost will be driven by operating and capital costs determined by final feedstock (electricity) contracts and factors such as materials and construction costs.
What steps will follow once the award negotiations process ends in 2024?
In the first year, our collective efforts will encompass detailed planning and analysis activities to ensure that the overall H2Hub concept is technologically and financially viable, building on existing engagement with local communities to include further input from Tribes, partners and stakeholders. Then, DOE will evaluate the hub’s activities and deliver a go/no-go decision for moving to Phase 2.
Phase 2 may last up to two years and includes finalizing engineering designs and business development, site access, labor agreements, permitting, offtake agreements and community engagement activities.
During Phase 3, approximately two to four years, the hub will focus on the implementation – installation, integration and construction activities.
Finally, Phase 4, another two to four years, will ramp up the PNWH2 Hub to full operations, including data collection to analyze the hub’s operations, performance and financial viability.
It’s important to note that these are guidelines defined by the Department of Energy. We will bring projects online as soon as possible.
Will this increase regional energy prices?
Energy prices are determined by local utility organizations in coordination with their governing public utility commissioners or regulators. We will work closely with the local commissioners and regulators to ensure they have all the information needed during their rate-setting processes.
Are new pipelines for hydrogen distribution part of the PNWH2 Hub plan?
Our intent with the PNWH2 Hub is not to incorporate an abundance of new pipelines. Simply said, that means we will limit the number of pipelines for our projects and use them only for local storage.
A large, regional hydrogen distribution pipeline is not part of the PNWH2 Hub. The initial phases of the hub may include some short-run pipelines (up to 20 miles) between production sites and end-users for local storage only.
Where will the clean electricity to run the hydrogen electrolyzers come from?
The PNWH2 Hub’s projects will produce electrolytic hydrogen from the region’s abundant and growing renewable electricity and non-stressed water sources – bringing environmentally responsible and sustainable solutions to market.
While new solar and wind energy projects are not part of the PNWH2 Hub, our projects are working closely with renewable electricity project developers to ensure a stable, growing supply of clean energy is available to meet hydrogen production needs. This is in alignment with analyses like the 2021 Washington State Energy Strategy that anticipate a need to approximately double renewable capacity by 2050.
What are the plans for hydrogen storage and safety?
Hydrogen will be stored at production and use sites using industry standard technologies, building on the decades of experience in handling hydrogen by our team members.
Private industry and government agencies have safely produced and used hydrogen for decades. Approximately 10 million tons of hydrogen are produced annually in the United States to make products like gasoline, silicon chips and food products like peanut butter.
Safety is paramount for this industry and will be for our efforts as well.
Additionally, we plan to engage with first responders, K-12 schools, higher education, community organizations and Tribal governments on a variety of programs, including hydrogen safety awareness and training.
What is a node?
The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub – or PNWH2 Hub – calls our project sites “nodes.” Each node consists of one or more projects working together to produce, store, transport, and use low-carbon hydrogen.
Potential General Locations of Proposed PNWH2 Hub Projects
PMWH2 Hup Proposed Projects and Expected End Uses
Expected End Use
USA Fortescue Future Industries, Inc.; First Mode; Puget Sound Energy (PSE); Amazon.com, Inc.; Centralia College
Clean Energy and Heavy-Duty Transportation
ALA Renewable Energy LLC, An AltaGas Company
Heavy-Duty Transportation, Refining & Power Generation
PUD No. 1 of Douglas County; Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy US LLC; Northwest Seaport Alliance; PACCAR Inc.
NovoHydrogen Holdings LLC
Heavy Duty Transportation
Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc.; Williams Field Services Group, LLC; Portland General Electric Company (PGE)
Clean Electricity Generation
St. Regis Solar, LLC
How will the Tribes benefit from the anticipated hydrogen production and increased usage?
At a state, regional and national level, there is a clear recognition that Tribes be engaged and involved as environmental stewards, as project validators, and as partner governments. The Tribes are committed to ensuring real economic opportunities for the benefit of Tribal members and the communities they share, but only through sustainable and responsible environmental, cultural and socially equitable efforts.
The details of these benefits vary by project and Tribe, but generally, the benefits focus on training programs and new clean energy economy jobs, including supply chain and contracting opportunities for local businesses. We expect reductions in local pollution burdens in some communities as fossil fuel infrastructure is converted or repurposed to clean hydrogen. We plan a variety of programs to support workers, including family care, transportation and hydrogen safety awareness and training. These programs build on the strong partnerships that the hub projects and the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2) have worked to develop with Tribal governments, as evidenced by the two PNWH2 Board seats occupied by Tribal government representatives.
How were Tribes engaged and consulted during the H2Hub planning process?
In addition to having Tribal governments as part of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association Board, we incorporated Tribal engagement into planning elements of the PNWH2 Hub. This engagement included formal government-to-government consultation when requested by Tribes and other communication venues to inform Tribes that chose not to participate in hub planning but may be impacted by the work. Further State Tribal liaisons were important resource people included as part of the proposal development. The following activities are some examples in which the PNWH2 Hub and the Washington State Department of Commerce engaged and consulted Tribes during the application and review process:
- April 2022 – Former Washington State Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown and PNWH2 Chairman Chris Green sent letters to all 29 federally-recognized tribes in Washington notifying them of the intention to apply for DOE hub funding, inviting interested tribes to join the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association, and participate in the development of a full proposal. For those that followed up, PNWH2 and Commerce engaged with tribal leadership and staff to answer questions and discuss involvement.
- 2022 – Tribal-led organizations such as Northwest Tribal Indian College participates in PNWH2 project review process.
- January 2023 – PNWH2 presented on the proposed H2Hub to the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Economic Development Committee.
- April 2023 — PNWH2 chairs and tribal board members sent a letter to tribal leaders in Washington, Oregon, and Montana, providing an update on the hub proposal process and a second invitation to formally participate.
- June 2023 – PNWH2 presented on the proposed H2Hub at the ATNI Clean Energy Summit.
- October 2023 – Commerce presented to Tribal Government Leaders at the Centennial Accord pre-meeting.
How will Tribes be engaged and consulted during the H2Hub implementation process?
Through this next phase of negotiations with the DOE, PNWH2 Hub and Washington Department of Commerce will be strategically engaging with and consulting tribes further to explore potential interests and opportunities to get involved with the hub. The negotiations could take up to 6 months before detailed information about the H2Hub’s can be released. However, Commerce and State Tribal liaisons will continue to create space for ongoing feedback and engagement. Washington State University’s Office of Tribal Relations was also identified to lead the Tribal Community Benefits Plan and will support Commerce and State Tribal Liaisons in this work.
When will the PNWH2 Hub hold community meetings?
During Phase 1/year one, which is the detailed project planning phase (anticipated to begin after negotiations with DOE in early 2024), our project partners, who have been engaging with local communities for many months, will build on the PNWH2 Hub’s groundwork with extensive community and labor engagement.
Federal investment in a clean energy economy
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs Program under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – a planned $7 billion federal investment in a nationwide clean hydrogen network – aims to drive investment in the development of regional hydrogen hubs to achieve the goal of a carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050.
In October 2023, DOE selected seven hydrogen hubs throughout the country – including the PNWH2 Hub – to enter award negotiations following a comprehensive application process.
The PNWH2 Hub is eligible to receive up to $20 million in federal funding for the first year. The initial year encompasses the first of four DOE-defined phases to ensure the PNWH2 Hub’s projects are technologically and financially viable, with federal approval required to proceed to subsequent phases.
The selected regional hydrogen hubs will form the foundation of a national clean hydrogen network.
About the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) was established to accelerate clean energy technologies and fill a critical innovation gap on the path to achieving our nation’s climate goals of net zero emissions by 2050. OCED’s mission is to deliver clean energy demonstration projects at scale in partnership with the private sector to accelerate deployment, market adoption, and the equitable transition to a decarbonized energy system. Visit energy.gov/oced to learn more.
PNWH2 Hub application
The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association submitted its PNWH2 Hub concept paper to DOE in November 2022. DOE encouraged 33 of 79 organizations that submitted concept papers – including the PNWH2 Hub – to prepare a full application for funding to construct a regional clean hydrogen hub.
The PNWH2 Hub team submitted its full application to DOE by the April 7, 2023, deadline.
The PNWH2 Hub’s proposal was developed by a team of experts from each proposed project led by federal engineering, procurement and construction contractor AtkinsRealis. Guidance was provided by the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association Board and the Advisory Committee, as well as through community and partner feedback.
November 21, 2021
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – is signed into law by President Biden. The law appropriates $7 billion to the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a nationwide network of clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs).
PNWH2 Association incorporated.
First PNWH2 Association Board meeting held.
The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2) submitted a PNWH2 Hub concept paper to the DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.
December 27, 2022
DOE “encouraged” PNWH2 to submit a full application for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) Program Funding Opportunity. Announcement.
April 7, 2023
PNWH2 Hub submits its full application to DOE.
DOE selects PNWH2 Hub for negotiation of award.
Phase 1, detailed project planning, is anticipated to kick off to refine projections submitted in the proposal and provide assurance to DOE that the overall hydrogen hub concept is technologically, financially, and legally viable, with buy-in from local stakeholders