New Mexico hydrogen sector snubbed by Department of Energy, but won’t give up



(The Center Square) – The U.S. Department of Energy did not select the Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub (WISHH) as one of the regional clean hydrogen hubs, but New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and industry leaders are not giving up on the industry.

Rather, they reaffirmed their commitment to making New Mexico a clean hydrogen hub.

The Energy Department awarded $7 billion to seven regional hubs in 16 states that aim to help make hydrogen a viable energy source for vehicles, manufacturing, and electricity generation, according to The Associated Press.

“While we are disappointed in the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision, we are undeterred. I spoke with every project partner this morning and we agree: our bullish outlook has not changed, and we will continue to move forward,” Lujan Grisham said in a press release. “I am incredibly grateful for the work of our industry project partners and their commitment to furthering clean energy solutions that will benefit generations of New Mexicans to come.”

Matthew Sheehy, President & CEO of Tallgrass, said his company looks forward to continuing its work in New Mexico.

“Tallgrass remains focused on our work to deliver clean hydrogen solutions that bring good jobs and economic development to New Mexico,” Sheehy said. “We’re excited to continue to collaborate with state and industry partners to achieve Governor Lujan Grisham’s vision of a clean energy future for New Mexico.”

Dave Zeller, CEO of Navajo Agriculture Products Industries, expressed a similar sentiment.

Zeller said his company will continue working with the Lujan Grisham administration to develop viable hydrogen power.

“Navajo Agriculture Products Industries is disappointed with the decision of the U.S. Department of Energy not to fund its Clean Hydrogen Energy Demonstration Project,” Zeller said. “NAPI is looking forward to pursuing other opportunities to advance the potential of clean hydrogen energy development in furtherance of its mission of continuing the legacy of Navajo farming and its vision of doing that sustainably across generations to cultivate a healthy Nation. We look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration and WISHH in these pursuits.”

And Pedro Azagra, Avangrid CEO, said the company remains committed to helping New Mexico transition to green energy.

“We remain committed to developing these critical green hydrogen projects in New Mexico to advance the region’s clean energy transition,” Azagra said. “Clean hydrogen will not only play an important role in the fight against climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but these projects will also create clean energy jobs and spur economic development. New Mexicans deserve the many benefits clean hydrogen projects will bring, and the Avangrid team is dedicated to using our experience in renewables to bring them to fruition.”

The clean hydrogen hub development process initiated previously non-existent public-private collaborations.

Over 12 months, businesses and state officials collaborated to identify projects that could spark investment and improve the state’s growing hydrogen economy. New Mexico worked with Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming to identify and address technical and economic issues faced by the industry in the region.

“Clean hydrogen is an essential component for achieving the necessary emission reductions needed to stem the worst impacts of climate change,” the release said. “While geothermal, solar, and wind development are the cornerstones of the state’s renewable energy development, they cannot alone facilitate the decarbonization of specific industries such as heavy transportation, manufacturing, and mining. Clean hydrogen also provides a way to store energy from renewable sources when supply exceeds demand.”

The International Energy Agency projects that hydrogen use will reach 10% of total final energy consumption by 2050.



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