PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The next phase of the green energy revolution is coming to the Pacific Northwest.
The White House announced Friday a $1 billion grant to develop a hydrogen energy hub in the Pacific Northwest, helping to reduce carbon emissions in the region.
“Our low carbon grid means that hydrogen that is produced here, means it will not just clean, but truly green,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
Washington and Oregon leaders hope it means taking every part of the process needed to use hydrogen as an energy source and build that infrastructure.
That means having facilities to store hydrogen gas, pipes to transport the gas and the facilities to create hydrogen to be used.
That last piece is key because hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. But it’s often bound with other elements, like the hydrogen and oxygen that make water.
Getting hydrogen separated and by itself is key and what Washington Governor Jay Inslee says, “sets our region apart.”
But hydrogen on it’s own needs something called electrolyzers and those use energy to do that. Because the Department of Energy says Oregon and Washington have more renewable energy generation than other regions, the hydrogen here can be made without burning as many fossil fuels. This is the key when it comes to reducing climate warming emissions.
The gas is a necessity for industries like trucking, airlines, ferries and shipping to reach net zero emissions, according to Oregon Department of Energy Director Janine Benner.
“Opportunities for renewable hydrogen to replace existing fossil hydrogen use to strengthen grid reliability, to increase resilience and to provide a pathway to de-carbonization in those hard to electrify sectors,” Benner added.
Officials said details of when the projects will start are part of negotiations they are having with private sector companies, but hope more will be announced by the start of 2024.