WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) hosted U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary David Turk at the Clean Hydrogen for the Mid-Atlantic Conference at the Chase Center on the Riverfront to discuss the economic and environmental benefits of clean hydrogen to Delaware with more than 300 stakeholders from around the region. In October, the DOE chose the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen (MACH2) proposal, a public-private partnership between Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey, as one of seven regional clean hydrogen hubs. This designation came with a $750 million federal grant that was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Topics covered during the half-day event included how the hub would positively impact regional economies, public health, and the environment. Guests and panelists throughout the event included Bloom Energy’s Rick Buettel, Chesapeake Utilities’ Shane Breakie, First State Hydrogen’s Andrew Cottone, PBF Energy’s Matt Lucey, DART’s Michael McNeal, University of Delaware Center for Clean Hydrogen’s Yushan Yan, State Senator Stephanie Hansen (D), Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s Pamela Keye, State Representative Larry Lambert (D), Steamfitters Local 420’s Jim Snell, and Delaware Workforce Development Board’s Joanna Staib.
MACH2 will advance President Biden’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, strengthen our nation’s energy security, and create an estimated 20,000 good-paying clean energy jobs, including union jobs. MACH2 will produce, distribute, and use clean hydrogen to power our vehicles, airplanes, industries, and more. The proposal was chosen largely due to the highly trained, unionized workforce in Delaware and the surrounding area, as well as the region’s strong manufacturing, chemical, and bioscience presence and existing infrastructure capable of transporting and storing hydrogen.
“Hydrogen hubs present a win-win-win for our climate, our communities and union workforce, and for the economy,” said David Turk, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy. “Clean hydrogen is the Swiss Army Knife of clean energy technologies. It can decarbonize some of our hardest-to-abate sectors, like heavy industry and transportation, and can provide long-duration energy storage. With this investment in the MACH2 Hub, DOE is eager to help build this indispensable network of hydrogen producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure in the region, while creating an estimated 20,000 jobs.”
“To be one of seven regional hydrogen hubs chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy – out of 79 that originally started the process – is a really big deal,” said Governor John Carney. “This designation will bring $750 million for Delaware and our partners in the region to build a clean energy industry that will create thousands of good union jobs. And Delaware communities are a significant part of this plan. The point of cleaner energy is to make things cleaner and better for people – especially those who live in disadvantaged communities. There will be an opportunity at each stage for the Delawareans to weigh in and shape these projects, and we encourage the public to participate.”
“Today’s conference brought together leaders from different levels of government, industry, labor, and academia to discuss how we are working together to grow the clean hydrogen energy sector in Delaware,” said Senator Tom Carper, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Clean hydrogen has a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping us meet our nation’s climate goals, while also creating good-paying jobs. Thanks to our region’s first-class labor workforce, existing infrastructure, and research and development capabilities, the future of the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub is bright.”
“As the nation’s lowest-lying state, Delaware faces particularly acute challenges from climate change-related natural disasters, and so a transition to energy sources like clean hydrogen is crucial for our state,” said Senator Chris Coons, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. “To do that, we can’t leave behind the workers and the infrastructure and the systems that we’ve built. MACH2 is a critical opportunity to transition the skills of Delaware workers, upgrade the facilities of our local refineries and industrial pipelines and manufacturing facilities, and innovate, innovate, innovate. We have an opportunity here to show that we can transform, and that we can compete, and if we do that, we won’t just save our world and our climate – we will save our communities, as well.”
“The big takeaway from today’s conference is that we all have a part to play in turning the vision of MACH2 into action – from elected officials and universities to businesses and environmental justice advocates – as we invest in clean hydrogen production and create-good-paying jobs in an equitable, just, and sustainable way,” said Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Delaware has the ideal infrastructure, workforce, and positioning for the MACH2 framework, and I am eager to see the First State take its place at the center of our clean energy future.”
This article was originally posted on Delaware.gov at: https://news.delaware.gov/2023/12/19/carney-carper-coons-blunt-rochester-host-energy-departments-deputy-secretary-turk-at-hydrogen-hub-conference/