U.S. Department of Energy selects Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub to receive funding to advance clean energy

The hub includes South Jersey partners South Jersey building trades and Rowan University

The U.S. Department of Energy last week announced that the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub, known as MACH2, was selected for award negotiations to receive up to $750 million in funding from the Hydrogen Hubs program. The program will support the development of a clean hydrogen hub — a network of hydrogen producers, consumers and local connective infrastructure — in South Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

MACH2 was ranked among the most pro-labor and greenest hubs in the nation. All projects will be constructed with project labor agreements and all clean hydrogen production will come from renewable energy, nuclear energy and capturing wastewater emissions (no fossil fuel extraction). It was chosen as one of seven regional clean hydrogen hubs nationally.

Funded by President Joe Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the H2Hubs will accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen — helping generate clean, dispatchable power, create a new form of energy storage and decarbonize heavy industry and transportation. Together, they will also reduce 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from end-uses each year — an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars — and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs across the country while supporting healthier communities and strengthening America’s energy security.

“The Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub will play an essential role in advancing our region’s economic and environmental goals by creating more than 20,000 well-paying jobs in the production, delivery and use of zero-emission green and pink hydrogen to repower our region’s industrial facilities, transportation systems and agriculture sectors,” Collin O’Mara, chair of MACH2 and CEO and president of the National Wildlife Federation said.

“Unlocking the full potential of hydrogen — a versatile fuel that can be made from almost any energy resource in virtually every part of the country — is crucial to achieving President Biden’s goal of American industry powered by American clean energy, ensuring less volatility and more affordable clean energy options for American families and businesses,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “With this historic investment, the Biden-(Kamala) Harris administration is laying the foundation for a new, American-led industry that will propel the global clean energy transition while creating high quality jobs and delivering healthier communities in every pocket of the nation.”

“The Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub will create green jobs and clean energy to power our economy for generations to come. The men and women of the union construction trades are proud to be partners in this major initiative that has the potential to transform our workforce and improve quality of life throughout the region,” Daniel Cosner, president of the Southern New Jersey Building Trades, said.

“We have a well-trained, well-prepared union workforce ready to go. The Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub is an important investment opportunity for Philadelphia’s diverse workforce to stand at the forefront of the green energy economy,” Ryan Boyer, head of the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, said. “We’re proud to have partnered with MACH2 and look forward to contributing to continued economic development and the growth of good, union jobs in the region.”

MACH2’s selection will result in a substantial investment in research & development and workforce development in partnership with area universities and organizations, including Rowan University, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technology & Community College, the University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney University, the Collegiate Consortium, Philadelphia Works, DE Workforce Development Board, FAME Inc. and DESCA.

“We are excited to support the MACH2 partnership. This new green energy industry will require skilled labor to produce, store and transport hydrogen. Rowan University stands ready to build the region’s new workforce, along with our training and industry partners. We will offer flexible, accessible and affordable pathways to credentials and degrees, starting as early as high school and going all the way through the Ph.D. level. We’ll also work with our industry partners to ensure those degrees lead to local, meaningful careers. This stackable credit education model is the piece that’s missing from today’s economy,” Tony Lowman, Rowan University provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said.

For more information on MACH2, clean hydrogen and the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program, click here.