Type to search

Economic Development Energy New Castle County News

New study to consider Delaware hydrogen facilities

Katie Tabeling
An energy system design study will be released in June to consider the best size and operation of a future local facility in Delaware. | DBT FILE PHOTO

An energy system design study is anticipated to be released in June to consider the best size and operation of a future local hydrogen facility in Delaware. | DBT FILE PHOTO

WILMINGTON — A new study is in the works to identify the best technology and location for a hydrogen production facility in the First State.

First State Hydrogen, a rising company dedicated to developing large-scale green hydrogen production and storage facilities, has inked a contract with Siemens Energy, Inc. on an energy system design study to best identify the infrastructure needed for a future site, ideally in Delaware.

“This study will help us get a better understanding of the staff, permitting needs and other steps to open a site,” said Dora Cheatham, vice president of sales and communication at First State Hydrogen. “This is literally part one of what we need to do.”

Siemens Energy is one of the leading energy tech companies in the world with a vast product portfolio that covers the entire supply chain from power generation and transmission to storage. An estimated one-sixth of the energy generated worldwide is based on technology from Siemens.

As Delaware vies for a piece of millions of federal dollars to invest in the potential of a green hydrogen economy, the energy system design study would consider the best size and operation of a future local facility, as well as best performance industries and technology to reduce costs.

Cheatam said that Siemens’ involvement in the studies pivotal for Delaware’s hopes as a major player in the hydrogen future. Siemens has also been heavily investing in renewable energy options, including opening a hydrogen generation plant and electrolyzer factory in Germany in the past two years, and other facilities. 

“Siemens will be considering the best place to leverage solar panels, wind turbines and other technologies that we should be using today to make this green hydrogen,” she said. “They’re on the cutting edge of this.”

The U.S. Department of Energy has set a “hydrogen shot” goal of lowering the clean hydrogen cost by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in one decade. To move the needle on that goal, the Biden administration dedicated up to $7 billion to the H2Hubs program for the development of regional clean hydrogen hubs, where industry and research universities would expand work on clean hydrogen fuel.

Delaware joined with southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey to form the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2), a nonprofit that was one of a few entities awarded $750 million of federal funding for the initiative. Negotiations are still ongoing on the funding, and expect to be wrapped by this summer.

In her role, Cheatam is focused on working on connecting partner companies with consumers who want to use hydrogen as an energy source. But she believes in the economic and environmental potential in the H2Hubs program, as she helped write the MACH2 proposal.

“The companies that are anchors in this hub are looking at investing at least $3 billion themselves. It’s 20,000 jobs for the region, and we’re talking about the skills needed for that as well. There’s also companies in the value chain that manufacture products that go in membranes and will also benefit,” she added.

The Energy System Design study will also consider other infrastructure needed to transport green hydrogen, like access to maritime ports and rail. But Cheatam believes that Delaware’s central location and quick drive-time to major metropolitan areas gives the state an edge on other potential sites in the region.

“Location is always going to be critical. If you look at a map of areas that aren’t producing clean energy right now, we’re right in the middle of it,” she said. “Delaware imports a lot of its energy, we don’t produce a lot of it. Being right on the Interstate 95 corridor is going to be very important when it comes to exporting energy. We’re going to be able to leverage that when we talk about infrastructure.”

The energy design study is anticipated to be completed in June.

Get the free DBT email newsletter  

Follow the people, companies and issues that matter most to business in Delaware.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Premier Digital Partners

© 2024 Delaware Business Times