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On December 17, 2022, the US Department of Energy published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Support for Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis, Manufacturing, and Recycling.

Hydrogen plays a critical role in the United States’ energy mix, providing energy security, economic value, and environmental benefits. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued the NOI to achieve such goals by providing financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. These funds were appropriated by Congress in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (more commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)).

EERE’s NOI begins with a disclaimer that “[t]his ‘Notice of Intent’ is for informational purposes only; the Department of Energy is not seeking comments on the information in this notice and applications are not being accepted at this time. Any information contained in this notice is subject to change.” Nevertheless, the NOI states that total federal funding will be up to $750 million for clean hydrogen projects. These funding streams, EERE suggests, “will support the broader government-wide approach to accelerate progress in clean hydrogen technologies and maximize the benefits of the clean energy transition.”

The NOI segments the forthcoming FOA into two areas of interest with six different topic areas:

  • Area of Interest 1: Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program
    • Topic Area 1: Low Cost, High Throughput Electrolyzer Manufacturing;
    • Topic Area 2: Electrolyzer Component and Supply Chain RD&D; and
    • Topic Area 3: Advanced Electrolyzer Technology and Component Development.
  • Area of Interest 2: Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling
    • Topic Area 4: Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly and Stack Manufacturing and Automation;
    • Topic Area 5: Fuel Cell Component and Supply Chain Development; and
    • Topic Area 6: Recovery and Recycling Consortium.

If and when the FOA is finalized, EERE’s goal is to: (1) reduce the cost of clean hydrogen produced using electrolyzers to less than $2 per kilogram by 2026; (2) advance new manufacturing technologies and techniques for clean hydrogen production and use; and (3) research, develop, and demonstrate innovative and practical approaches to increase the reuse and recycling of clean hydrogen technologies.

The NOI outlines the anticipated total federal funding per area of interest and topic area referenced as follows:

Topic areas with increased readiness appear to receive the bulk of anticipated federal funding. This NOI is the first step in EERE’s planning for a FOA. We intend to provide a follow-up post with information regarding the FOA if and when it is finalized.