UChicago and other universities, companies and national labs partner on DOE-funded $1 billion MachH2 hub for clean hydrogen

February 26, 2024 — The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2) recently announced it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) to develop a Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (H2Hub). DOE’s seven H2Hubs will kickstart a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure while supporting the production, storage, delivery and end-use of clean hydrogen.

MachH2 OCED graphic for clean hydrogen

Image courtesy of MachH2

Funded by President 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 are expected to 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. 

Dr. Dorothy Davidson, CEO of MachH2, remarked:

This is a historic day for MachH2 and the entire Midwest. Our hub and the region bring an unparalleled supply of clean energy, significant regional hydrogen demand, heavy industry, and an ideal location at the crossroads of America — all of which was recognized by the DOE’s selection of MachH2. Our hub will scale the production and delivery of abundant, reliable, and increasingly affordable clean hydrogen to support our national climate goals in the coming decade, all while creating jobs and lifting up underrepresented communities that have been overburdened by pollution.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm stated:

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. With this historic investment, the Biden-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.

When made with clean energy, hydrogen is an essential resource in meeting our nation’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. As an energy source, hydrogen does not emit carbon and can be used to reduce emissions from multiple difficult-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy, including steelmaking, manufacturing, aviation, agriculture, and long-haul transportation, among others.

MachH2 anticipates creating 13,600 direct jobs — 12,100 in construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs. Made up of more than 70 public and private entities representing every phase in the hydrogen value chain, MachH2 members are united in a shared vision to create an immediately scalable hydrogen hub in the Midwest that deploys the region’s abundant carbon-free and low-carbon energy to create a clean hydrogen economy and reduce emissions across multiple heavy emitting sectors.

MachH2 is a multi-state coalition of public and private entities representing every phase in the hydrogen value chain. Alliance members include a cross section of carbon-free and low-carbon energy producers, clean energy developers, hydrogen technology providers, utilities, major manufacturers, national labs and leading hydrogen technology development and deployment institutions, world-class universities, and groups focused on environmental justice.

The universities involved are:

  • City Colleges of Chicago
  • Chicago State University
  • Governors State University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Purdue University
  • Purdue University Northwest
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Illinois System
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison