In order to establish northwest Indiana as one of the few hydrogen centers planned across the nation, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) is attempting to secure significant federal financing with the help of various public and commercial partners, including Cummins.
The Indiana alliance is competing for a share of the $7 billion the U.S. Department of Energy is making available in its Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, or H2Hubs, program. In addition to Cummins, the group also includes Energy Systems Network, Purdue University, BP, and other organizations.
The Department of Energy will react to applicants by the end of the year and either encourage or dissuade them from moving forward. The application deadline for concept papers is November 7. April 7 is the deadline for submitting complete applications. Grant winners must contribute a local match of at least $1 for each grant dollar they receive under the H2Hubs program. According to the Department of Energy, six to ten hydrogen hub projects will be chosen, with the winners being announced in the fall of next year.
Cummins, which made its name on diesel engines, started stepping up its investments in hydrogen technology several years ago. Since 2019, the company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology. Although the company now only does a very small amount of business with hydrogen, its product line includes things like hydrogen fuel cells, which can power automobiles, and electrolyzers, which can manufacture hydrogen.
The DOE states that proposed initiatives should concentrate on clean hydrogen, which refers to the method of producing hydrogen. This includes, among other things, the production of hydrogen utilizing renewable energy sources like nuclear or biofuels. If the carbon emissions from the production of the hydrogen are caught and stored, it can also contain hydrogen made from fossil fuels. The hubs should exhibit clean hydrogen production, processing, delivery, storage, and final use.