The most abundant element in the universe could hold the key to decarbonizing wide swathes of the economy. When combusted, hydrogen does not release any carbon dioxide making it an attractive energy resource. So much so that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has set a goal of reducing the cost of hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram by 2030. Recent federal legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have established hydrogen tax credits and allocated upwards of $8 billion for regional hydrogen hubs, respectively.
Communities and utilities across the country are already working to deploy hydrogen technologies at the local level to reduce emissions and improve energy reliability. The Town of Hempstead, New York has partnered with National Grid to build one of the first and largest clean hydrogen projects in the country. The HyGrid Project, located in Point Lookout on Long Island, will blend green hydrogen into the existing distribution system to heat approximately 800 homes and fuel municipal vehicles.
National Grid will expand an existing hydrogen facility, which was developed in 2009, to provide locally produced green hydrogen for vehicles. The project was a national success in demonstrating decarbonized transportation. The Town of Hempstead and National Grid will now expand the project to blend hydrogen for heating homes and transportation at the same time. This green hydrogen can be safely injected into the National Grid distribution systemas a clean energy source for customers adjacent to the facility.
“We believe that hydrogen can transform the energy industry, and we are on the forefront,” said Rudy Wynter, President of National Grid New York. “This will be the largest green hydrogen blending project for direct use by utility customers in the Northeast and one of the first in the country. This project shows that hydrogen blending can be used to decarbonize the existing networks.”
“I’m proud to join with my colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board to announce this exciting partnership with National Grid on a transformative clean energy project that will expand and improve our hydrogen fueling facility in Point Lookout, while developing one of the first green hydrogen blending projects in the nation,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin. “We are ready to work with National Grid and thank them for their partnership on this cutting-edge initiative that will deliver zero-carbon energy to America’s largest township for years to come.”
Earlier this year, DOE released a Notice of Intent on its forthcoming funding opportunity for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, or H2Hubs, outlining the department’s initial plans for the program, which includes local governments as eligible recipients. The funding opportunity is expected to open later this fall.
Widescale hydrogen deployment offers the next great evolution in our nation’s energy networks and will impact how energy is produced, stored, delivered, and used. The U.S. possesses the most extensive gas pipeline delivery network in the world, and with rigorous research and testing already underway, we can further leverage gas infrastructure to enable clean hydrogen delivery across the economy. The integration of clean hydrogen into gas systems can expand options and accelerate our nation’s ability to reduce emissions.
If you’re interested in learning more about how local gas distribution infrastructure can help achieve a net-zero future, access this recent study from the American Gas Association.
About the Author
Frank Canavan is the state affairs manager for the American Gas Association.