California Launches Statewide Alliance to Establish Federally Co-Funded Hydrogen Hub

Oct 6, 2022 | Press Release


Long Beach, CA – Today, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the University of California Office of the President (UCOP), Labor, Renewables 100, alongside state and local officials, formally announced the formation of the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), a shared not-for-profit LLC public-private partnership designed to accelerate hydrogen’s contribution to decarbonizing the economy in California and beyond.

The Alliance has been designed as a flexible structure with two complementary, interconnected objectives: establish a federally co-funded renewable hydrogen hub in the California region, and create an economically sustainable, and expanding, renewable hydrogen market in California and beyond. ARCHES will be governed by a representative board and key advisory committees, including environmental justice, organized labor, cities and public sector projects, who, along with industrial sector representatives, will have seats on the board.

The Alliance’s first task is to submit California’s single, state-wide application for federal hydrogen hub funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). $8 billion in funding is available to fund between six to ten hubs nationally, with a maximum award of $1.25 billion. If awarded, these funds will be a lynchpin in California’s nation-leading climate commitments, including our record five-year, $53.9 billion climate package achieved through partnership between the Governor and legislative leaders. This includes $100 million allocated in the 2022 Budget to advance the demonstration and scale-up of hydrogen projects that produce, process, deliver, store or use hydrogen from renewable energy resources. These projects will help reduce sector-wide emissions in geographically diverse areas of the state and prioritize air quality, equity, health, and workforce benefits.

“California is leading the nation – and the world – in the fight against climate change,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re more prepared and better positioned than any other state to build a federal hydrogen hub to continue our rapid progress toward a carbon neutral economy. We look forward to working with our critical partners to deliver lasting results that will be felt by every family in California – clearer air, better jobs, and greater resilience as we face climate change head-on.”

“This an opportunity for California to again create new markets that spring from our robust environmental policies,” said GO-Biz Director and Senior Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, Dee Dee Myers. “Having one state-wide application sends a signal to DOE—California is serious about working together to build our hydrogen economy.”

Success on this project means that hydrogen will accelerate electrification across multiple sectors while opening opportunities to bring zero-emission solutions to multiple, hard to electrify sectors, including heavy industry. It means the ARCHES system will increase confidence, enabling exponential growth in private capital—the capital ultimately needed to scale the market and drive costs down for everyone. And it means clean air, especially for those who have suffered the most, along with the creation of green jobs and economic growth across the state.

“Hydrogen provides an extremely promising pathway to eradicate toxic and carcinogenic diesel emissions and the burden they create on frontline communities throughout the state,” said Eli Lipmen, Executive Director of Move LA, a coalition building nonprofit. “We look forward to continue working with ARCHES to further build a coalition that will ensure these historic investments deliver direct benefits to our most impacted communities.”

This partnership relies on the globally recognized intellectual capital of the entire University of California (UC) System and the three National Labs that the UC oversees—in partnership with the State of California, leading cities, organized labor, industry, and NGOs—with a foundation of strong state policies, in collaboration with the communities all of us serve.

“Today, the University of California is building on a strong commitment to climate action by co-leading the new, public-private Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems,” said University of California President Michael V. Drake. “For decades, UC faculty have worked to advance clean hydrogen technology as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. We’re grateful that the federal government is making substantial investments in these solutions, and we’re thrilled to partner across sectors to ensure a just, equitable energy transition for Californians.”

“One of the key lessons we’ve learned in the more than twenty years of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (now the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership) is that success requires active collaboration between government, industry, NGOs, and communities,” said Joe Cappello, Chair, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership and CEO of Iwatani of North America. “ARCHES is set up to foster partnerships like we have, and our members are committed to its success in California and beyond.”

The California State Legislature is committed as well.

“California’s budget action that enabled ARCHES gives us the potential to go big on clean hydrogen with the help of federal dollars,” said State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). “A federal hydrogen hub grant could mean hundreds of millions of dollars or more for cleaner air in California through replacing dirty diesel trucks, port equipment, and more with clean, renewable hydrogen. And my bill, SB 1075, shows that California is ready to lead the nation in planning for a robust, clean hydrogen future.”

Local leaders, including the City of Los Angeles and Long Beach, are actively supporting ARCHES.

“Here in California, we know that our leadership in clean energy is a down payment on the health and well-being of local families, workers, and communities for generations to come,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Los Angeles is ground zero when it comes to new solutions to combat the climate crisis, and through this collaboration with ARCHES, our City will be well-positioned to continue leading the transition to a zero-carbon future.”

“Hydrogen power represents a tremendous opportunity—both for our state and for cities like Long Beach,” said Long Beach Mayor Garcia. “We’re looking forward to California leading the way through investment in sustainable technology.”

A successful building of renewable hydrogen generation, distribution, storage, and end-use infrastructure relies on a robust, diverse, and well-trained workforce.

“Labor has been with ARCHES since the beginning. We have the skilled and trained workforce required for this opportunity, and beyond,” said Chris Hannan, Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. “ARCHES’ efforts will not only deliver clean energy for the future, but it will also deliver lifelong careers for this and our next generations.”

This initiative also has bipartisan support.

“It is an honor to be a part of such a dedicated group that shares our vision for a sustainable future. It takes a team to change the world and I am confident that the ARCHES consortium will accelerate the development and deployment of clean, renewable hydrogen projects and infrastructure with the full support and commitment from the City of Lancaster,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Thank you to GO-Biz for gathering us all together. I look forward to a hydrogen-powered future!”

As next steps in the application process, hydrogen hub concept papers are due to the U.S. DOE by November 7, 2022, and full proposals are due by April 7, 2023.

More information about ARCHES can be found online here.

About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit the GO-Biz website.

Heather Purcell
Deputy Director of Communications
Email Heather, HERE

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