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DOE to award up to $750M for RD&D for clean hydrogen

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $750 million for research, development, and demonstration efforts to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen. (DE-FOA-0002922) This funding launches the first tranche of implementation of two provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorizes $1 billion for research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen produced via electrolysis and $500 million for research, development, and demonstration of improved processes and technologies for manufacturing and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials.

The FOA provides funding for research, development, and demonstration to:

  • Improve the efficiency, increase the durability, and reduce the cost of producing clean hydrogen using electrolyzers to less than $2 per kilogram by 2026;

  • Advance new manufacturing technologies and techniques for clean hydrogen production and use equipment, specifically for electrolyzer and fuel cell technologies; and

  • Create innovative and practical approaches to increase the reuse and recycling of clean hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

The following topics, in two areas of interest, are included in this funding opportunity.

Area of Interest 1: Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program

  • Topic 1: Low Cost, High-Throughput Electrolyzer Manufacturing: Research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) that accelerates manufacturing innovations, so that electrolyzer stack manufacturers can achieve greater economies of scale.

  • Topic 2: Electrolyzer Component and Supply Chain Development: Research and development (R&D) of advanced components critical to accelerate the commercialization of electrolyzers.

  • Topic 3: Advanced Electrolyzer Technology and Component Development: R&D that develops materials, components, and designs that are at lower technology readiness levels (TRL) but show promise in achieving long-term cost, performance, and lifetime goals in next generation of electrolyzer technologies.

Area of Interest 2: Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling

  • Topic 4: Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly and Stack Manufacturing and Automation: RD&D that accelerates fuel cell manufacturing innovation and scale-up by enabling diverse fuel cell manufacturer and supplier teams to flexibly address their greatest scale-up challenges and achieve economies of scale in medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (MDV/HDV) and cross-cutting applications.

  • Topic 5: Fuel Cell Supply Chain Development: R&D to address critical deficiencies in the domestic supply chain for MDV/HDV fuel cell materials and components.

  • Topic 6: Recovery and Recycling Consortium: Establish a single, broad-based nonprofit- or university-led consortium of industry, academia, and national labs to address a range of recovery, recycling, refurbishment, and reuse challenges for fuel cell and electrolyzer stacks and components.

Managed by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), projects funded through this opportunity will address underlying technical barriers to cost reduction that can’t be overcome by scale alone, and they will work to ensure that emerging commercial-scale deployments achieve long-term viability with tomorrow’s lower-cost, higher-performing technology.

DOE envisions granting multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements, with the period of performance being approximately two to five years. DOE encourages applicant teams that include stakeholders within academia, industry, and national laboratories across multiple technical disciplines.

Teams are also encouraged to include representation from diverse entities such as minority-serving institutions, labor unions, tribal nations, community colleges, and other entities connected through Opportunity Zones.

The application process will include two phases: a Concept Paper phase and a Full Application phase. Concept papers are due on 19 April 2023, and full applications are due on 19 July 2023.


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