National hydrogen hub designation means 130,000 construction jobs

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California Construction News staff writer

California will receive up to $1.2 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the development and deployment of clean renewable hydrogen, critical to cutting pollution and expanding the clean energy economy statewide.

The designation comes with up to $1.2 billion to build or expand hydrogen projects that will power public transportation, heavy-duty trucks, port operations. It is expected to leverage the state’s clean energy technology to produce hydrogen exclusively from renewable energy and biomass.

The Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) serves as the coordinator for California’s Hydrogen Hub grant seeking efforts, and included projects submitted by the Port of Oakland in their federal application.

“Today’s announcement by President Biden is a win for Oakland, a win for our state, and a win for our planet,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “The clean hydrogen energy project in Oakland will build a healthier future and create local quality green jobs while reducing pollution impacts and transitioning to clean locally produced energy.

“We are grateful to President Biden for recognizing that Oakland is a leader in adopting and advancing clean energy technology.”

Earlier this year, the City of Oakland and the Port of Oakland applied to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to be part of ARCHES submittal.

“Today’s announcement is an extraordinary investment not just in California’s future, but for the entire country,” said Angelina Galiteva, CEO, ARCHES. “ARCHES is honored to have been chosen for such substantial funding, and we are eager to get to work to bring cutting edge projects to life up and down the state.”

The goal is to cut up to 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year – equivalent to the pollution of 445,000 gasoline-powered cars annually and:

  • create about 220,000 new jobs, including 130,000 in construction and 90,000 permanent jobs
  • Add $2.95 billion per year in economic value from better health and health cost savings
  • Provide 40% of the benefits from projects will flow to disadvantaged communities

California submitted an application in April through the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), a statewide public-private partnership to build the framework for California’s renewable, clean hydrogen hub;

Governor Newsom directed GO-Biz to develop California’s Hydrogen Market Development Strategy, employing an all-of-government approach to building up California’s clean, renewable hydrogen market.

“The production and implementation of clean, renewable hydrogen is essential to fully decarbonize our region’s industries, foster clean energy job growth, and meet California’s ambitious carbon neutrality goals,” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla. “This monumental federal investment in the ARCHES H2 Hub will bring together leaders from across government, industry, labor unions, national labs, NGOs, and more to jumpstart the market for renewable hydrogen and establish a sustainable, clean Hydrogen Hub by 2030.

“The project will bring tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, cleaner air, and reduced fuel costs to our state — all while focusing their work on environmental justice and equity for disadvantaged communities.”

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