Northwest Hydrogen Centre: A solar energy company with its headquarters in Lake Oswego has decided against participating in a regional government partnership and instead has begun its own campaign to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the federal government in order to establish a green hydrogen production network across the states of Oregon and Washington.
Oregon Firm Presents A Concept To Establish A Northwest Hydrogen Centre
In November, Obsidian Renewables submitted an application to the United States Department of Energy in order to become a green hydrogen hub for the region. This hub would be responsible for the production, storage, and transportation of the nearly emission-free gas.
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The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association, which is a cooperation between the states of Oregon and Washington, has also filed for funding to create a Northwest hydrogen center.
Obsidian at first intended to participate in the effort being put out by the association; however, the company decided against doing so because the partnership refused to disclose to private enterprises whether or not they were included in the final offer.
“We could not get the Washington Department of Commerce to tell us whether they were going to include us in their grant or not, and they still haven’t told us,” Obsidian co-founder David Brown said. “So we had to find something on our own,” Brown added.
Penny Thomas, a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Commerce, stated in an email that the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association was concerned that if it released that information, other applicants would use it to gain a competitive advantage over them. Thomas was referring to the association’s fear that other applicants would use the information to their advantage.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed by Congress in 2021, provided the Department of Energy with $8 billion to be used towards the establishment of hydrogen production hubs throughout the country. The agency anticipates that by the end of this year, at least four hydrogen hubs will have been chosen to receive support during the subsequent four years.
If hydrogen is produced by sending electric currents through water in order to separate hydrogen and oxygen, a process known as electrolysis, and if the electric currents themselves are powered by a renewable energy source such as wind or solar, then the process is considered to be environmentally friendly. In the course of the production of hydrogen, there would be very little to no emissions generated.
The company behind Oregon's – and one of the nation's – largest solar installations is now pitching a plan to become the largest green hydrogen producer in the region. It's competing with a Northwest government partnership chasing the same federal money.https://t.co/b9BDlVg1bw
— Oregon Capital Chronicle (@ORCapChronicle) December 5, 2022
Because hydrogen power generates twice as much energy as gasoline, occupies only half as much space, and is more lightweight than a lithium battery, it has the potential to be used in large transport vessels like airplanes, trains, and ships, as well as in the production of materials that require a great deal of energy.
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Hydrogen fuel cells don’t need to be charged, which can take a long time, and they can resist cold temperatures, which can drain the power from electric battery packs.
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