Energy leaders focused on developing low carbon economies in Arizona, the Navajo Nation and Nevada have joined forces to develop a regional clean hydrogen hub in the Southwest.
The Center for an Arizona Carbon Neutral Economy, housed within ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, first introduced in May 2022, is collaborating with partners in Arizona, the Navajo Nation and Nevada to launch the Southwest Clean Hydrogen Innovation Network (SHINe).
On Nov. 7, as its first step in developing the hub, SHINe submitted a concept paper to seek federal funding from the United States Department of Energy for clean hydrogen-focused initiatives including production, processing, storage, delivery systems, community benefits and other enabling infrastructure.
Once fully operational, SHINe will help support the Department of Energy’s vision of a regional clean hydrogen hub that provides clean energy for the transportation, industrial and electricity sectors while maintaining a reliable and resilient electric grid. SHINe will also work to create economic development opportunities in the region.
“A regional clean hydrogen hub focuses on developing a network of hydrogen producers, consumers and local connective infrastructure,” Executive Director Ellen Stechel said. “The SHINe network includes salt cavern storage, heavy duty transportation and distribution technologies that will help accelerate the use of clean hydrogen as a source of low carbon energy powering the economy.”
In September, the Department of Energy announced that up to $7 billion is available to fund the development of six to 10 U.S.-based regional clean hydrogen hubs. Regional clean hydrogen hubs funding was outlined as part of President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which authorized up to $8 billion for at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs.
These hubs are meant to help communities across the country benefit from clean hydrogen investments, quality jobs and improved energy security. When coupled with other public and private investments in new clean hydrogen production, the hubs are expected to accelerate a nationwide clean hydrogen network and economy.
Arizona, the Navajo Nation and Nevada are in the nation’s sunniest region, with significant available undeveloped land and abundant clean energy resources. Arizona also has the nation’s largest nuclear power plant producing 100% carbon-free electricity, and energy providers committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Furthermore, the Navajo Nation is one of the largest tribes in the U.S., has a land base larger than West Virginia, and is transitioning to a clean energy economy. Nevada is an early investor in clean hydrogen infrastructure, which will be necessary to integrate more hydrogen-fueled vehicles. These resources, along with the region’s proximity to California, will contribute to decarbonizing the region and ultimately the entire U.S.
SHINe includes more than 40 member organizations with expertise and operations throughout the region, including cities, clean energy companies, gas producing companies, nonprofits, transit companies, universities and utilities.