US DOE announces funds for nuclear hydrogen

11 October 2021

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $20 million in funding to demonstrate technology that will produce clean hydrogen energy from nuclear power.

This approach will allow clean hydrogen to serve as a source for zero-carbon electricity and represent an important economic product for nuclear plants beyond electricity, DOE noted. The project, based in Arizona, will make progress on DOE’s [email protected] vision for clean hydrogen across multiple sectors and help meet the department’s Hydrogen Shot goal of $1 per 1 kilogram in one decade.  

“Developing and deploying clean hydrogen can be a crucial part of the path to achieving a net-zero carbon future and combatting climate change,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy David M Turk. “Using nuclear power to create hydrogen energy is an illustration of DOE’s commitment to funding a full range of innovative pathways to create affordable, clean hydrogen, to meet DOE’s Hydrogen Shot goal, and to advance our transition to a carbon-free future.”   

The project, led by PNW Hydrogen, will receive $12 million from the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) and $8 million from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) for a total award of $20 million. The project will produce hydrogen from nuclear power at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix, Arizona. Six tonnes of stored hydrogen will be used to produce approximately 200MWh electricity during times of high demand, and may be also used to make chemicals and other fuels. The project will provide insights about integrating nuclear energy with hydrogen production technologies and inform future clean hydrogen production deployments at scale.

“Arizona continues to lead the nation in clean hydrogen energy innovation, and today’s Department of Energy investment will help fuel continued progress," said US Senator Kyrsten Sinema. "I am committed to supporting state-of-the-art investments to secure our energy future, including by passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which provides $9.5 billion for national clean hydrogen hubs, hydrogen manufacturing and recycling programmes, and programmes to lower the cost of clean hydrogen. I look forward to working with the Department and Arizonans to encourage such investments going forward.” 

PNW Hydrogen will be the primary recipient of the DOE award and will collaborate with multiple stakeholders in research, academia, industry and state-level government including Idaho National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, OxEon, Electric Power Research Institute, Arizona State University, University of California Irvine, Siemens, Xcel Energy, Energy Harbor and the LA Department of Water and Power.  

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