Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub Submits Application for U.S. Department of Energy Funding Grant

Monday, April 10, 2023

$1.25B grant will build clean hydrogen hubs across four western states

DENVER - The Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub LLC (WIH2) submitted an application last week for a $1.25 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance the hydrogen economy in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The submission is in response to the DOE’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to establish infrastructure-based hydrogen economies across America. WIH2’s H2Hub proposal identifies eight projects across the four states, with at least one project in each state.

Spanning 408,000 square miles, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming produce approximately one-sixth of the nation’s energy. In February 2022, governors from the four states signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Western Inter-State Hydrogen Hub (WISHH) coalition to coordinate and develop a regional clean hydrogen hub. WISHH project manager Atkins — a world-leading design and engineering firm and government contractor — was hired to identify qualified projects and to develop and submit a proposal to the DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) by the April 7, 2023, deadline. WIH2 was formed in pursuit of that objective.

Through a competitive application process, Atkins and the states selected eight qualified project partners for WIH2’s application. Universities, national laboratories, and private-sector developers and technology providers helped inform the decision-making process. Project developers awarded the federal grant have committed to significantly exceed the DOE’s requested minimum 50% grant match.

“I look forward to the strong bipartisan collaboration between New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado as we work together to develop renewable energy technologies in western states. The investment in these eight hydrogen projects is a crucial step to achieving shared energy independence goals and my goal of 100% renewable energy in Colorado by 2040,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I appreciate the federal government’s partnership and support in the development of innovative renewable energy technologies.”

The projects identified in the WIH2 H2Hub application are as follows:

  • AVANGRID will leverage its experience in renewables to produce hydrogen in New Mexico (Navajo Nation in San Juan County and in Torrance County).

  • AVF Energy will produce renewable natural gas/clean hydrogen from biomass harvested as part of fire mitigation and environmental restoration in Utah (Duchesne, Iron and Sevier counties).

  • Dominion Energy Utah’s ThermH2 project blends hydrogen into a high-pressure natural gas system in Utah (Juab and Utah counties).

  • Libertad Power will produce clean hydrogen in New Mexico to serve off-takers across the Southwest in heavy haul transportation and power generation/storage (San Juan and Lea counties).

  • Navajo Agricultural Product Industries (NAPI), a 275,000-acre Navajo Nation-owned commercial farm is seeking to become energy self-sufficient and raise produce in greenhouses for the benefit of Tribal members in the Navajo Nation and San Juan County, New Mexico.

  • Tallgrass Energy will produce clean hydrogen serving the power, transportation, and other industrial markets through its eH2Power project in New Mexico and Front Range Hydrogen project in Colorado and Wyoming.

  • Xcel Energy Colorado will produce hydrogen on the eastern plains of Colorado using wind and solar and will support hydrogen use in the electric sector and hard-to-decarbonize segments of the economy.

"We are excited to work with the other states in our region on these innovative projects that move us closer to our clean energy goals," said Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor, "Hydrogen has practical uses for industry, transportation, and energy storage, ensuring that Colorado and the other Mountain West states have a reliable way to reduce emissions from the hardest sectors to decarbonize. This support from the federal government, as well as the contributions of WISHH's project partners, will go a long way towards achieving our clean energy future."

“As a national leader in renewable energy, Xcel Energy’s expertise will help make the Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub successful. Our project offers a strategic advantage with its proximity to customer end uses, generation and gas and electric distribution infrastructure, and some of the best wind and solar resources in the country for producing clean hydrogen,” said Bob Frenzel, Xcel Energy chairman, president, and CEO.

WIH2 will bring more than 26,000 jobs, including approximately 7,000 construction-related jobs, across the four states. According to the DOE, hydrogen energy has the power to slash emissions from multiple carbon-intensive sectors and open a world of economic opportunity to clean energy businesses and workers across the country. Getting hydrogen right would mean unlocking a new source of clean, dispatchable power, and a new method of energy storage. It would mean another pathway for decarbonizing heavy industry and transportation. The total funding available for the H2Hubs is $7 billion.

Following the DOE’s review of the applications, it is anticipated that the DOE will invite applicants to pre-selection interviews this summer and announce and negotiate awards later in the year. Due to the proprietary nature of the information disclosed in the application, WIH2 does not plan to make the application available for distribution.


For more information about the Western Inter-States Hydrogen Hub visit https://energyoffice.colorado.gov/climate-energy/western-inter-states-hydrogen-hub or contact Maria Eisemann at the Colorado Energy Office at maria.eisemann@state.co.us. A new website will be available following the DOE’s grant funding award notification.