In order to launch and expand prospects for hydrogen to be incorporated into Ontario’s clean electricity grid, including hydrogen power storage, the provincial government of Ontario is creating a Hydrogen Innovation Fund, which will invest $15 million over the following three years.
This launch establishes Ontario as a center for green manufacturing and represents another significant step in the province’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy’s implementation.
Projects funded by the Hydrogen Innovation Fund would enhance the management of energy supply, capacity, storage, and demand as well as the expansion of Ontario’s hydrogen industry. The Fund will support projects in three categories: existing facilities that are already built or operational and prepared to assess how hydrogen can support Ontario’s clean grid; new hydrogen facilities that are not yet built but might be operational by a given date to demonstrate how hydrogen can support Ontario’s clean grid; and research studies looking into the viability of novel hydrogen applications or supporting decision-making for future hydrogen projects.
The Independent Electricity System Operator will be in charge of managing the Hydrogen Innovation Fund, and it will begin accepting applications in April 2023. According to modeling by Natural Resources Canada, hydrogen may account for 30% of the nation’s fuel and feedstock by 2050 and provide 100,000 employment in Ontario.
The province is also pushing the Niagara Hydrogen Centre project, which would eight-fold Ontario’s production of low-carbon hydrogen and is being led by Atura Power. This ground-breaking initiative would generate power for a hydrogen electrolyzer at the Sir Adam Beck generating station utilizing previously underutilized water, balancing the electrical grid. The Niagara Hydrogen Centre will be able to produce low-carbon hydrogen thanks to a contract the IESO signed into for grid regulation services at the Sir Adam Beck station beginning in 2024.
These investments strengthen Ontario’s competitive advantage in clean energy as our government advances the Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy, which outlined eight specific steps to position Ontario as a leader in the hydrogen economy, the most recent energy innovation frontier.