The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) team has submitted its application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) for the regional clean hydrogen hub Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) as designated in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
ARCH2 was formed through a partnership with the State of West Virginia, EQT Corporation, the nation’s largest natural gas producer; Battelle and GTI Energy; with expertise executing clean energy programs for the federal government; and Allegheny Science & Technology (AST), a leading West Virginia energy technology consulting firm.
Concentrated in Appalachian counties as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) across West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, ARCH2 will leverage diverse regional resources to build a safe, sustainable clean hydrogen hub that can scale and integrate into a national clean H2 network. The region is the ideal location for a clean hydrogen hub, due to its unique access to ample low-cost natural gas feedstock, vast industrial end-user demand, workforce and technology capability, and carbon sequestration potential.
The ARCH2 project portfolio includes a diverse group of partner companies poised to bring economic, environmental, and community benefits to Appalachia through participation in ARCH2. Lead project development partners under ARCH2 include Air Liquide, The Chemours Company, Clearway Energy Group, CNX Resources Corp, Dominion Energy Ohio, Empire Diversified Energy, EQT Corporation, Fidelis New Energy, First Mode, Hog Lick Aggregates, Hope Gas Inc., Independence Hydrogen Inc., KeyState Energy, MPLX, Plug Power, and TC Energy.
ARCH2 will help DOE’s OCED achieve President Biden’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and a net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050. In addition to providing cleaner, safer energy to the nation, a major component of the ARCH2 application is the Community Benefits Plan (CBP) which identifies the strategies that ARCH2 will use to proactively engage with the communities throughout the Appalachian region. ARCH2 is a community-first Hub and will ensure that project area communities have input into community benefits and that opportunities are available to all. ARCH2 project participants collaborate to create and support good-paying jobs, workforce training, options for investment in communities, and Justice40 benefit flows.
ARCH2 was encouraged to submit a full application for the second round in December 2022. Final award decisions by DOE OCED are expected to be announced in the Fall of 2023.
“Appalachian natural gas has some of the lowest GHG intensities in the world and uniquely positions our region to answer the world’s call for cheaper, more reliable, cleaner energy,” said Toby Z. Rice. “We believe the use of EQT’s extremely low emissions natural gas to create clean hydrogen will help advance America’s energy evolution to lower carbon solutions while reaffirming Appalachia’s longstanding tradition of energy innovation.”
“Our team of world-class organizations has collaborated and put together a strong and compelling application for a sustainable regional clean hydrogen program that meets government and industry objectives, addressing technical, commercial, and social justice goals in a highly transparent manner,” said Lou Von Thaer. “We are proud to be part of such an initiative that will advance our country’s long-term energy strategy.”