Davis-Besse hydrogen hub project doesn’t make the cut

The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant was not selected to be one of the seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs.
Published: Oct. 13, 2023 at 6:32 PM EDT
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OAK HARBOR, Ohio (WTVG) - It doesn’t look as if this area will be a hub for producing hydrogen anytime soon.

Supporters submitted an application to produce it at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant but now bad news about that application. The Department of Energy did not select the Davis-Besse project for its hub initiative.

It’s a disappointing day for the people who put this project together. The hope was to make the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant a major source of hydrogen.

Using the technology and resources already at the Davis-Besse, the idea was to leverage that into a new push to produce clean hydrogen fuel from a $7 billion investment by the Department of Energy.

That fuel could be used in a variety of places from trucking and transportation to the Cleveland Cliffs hot briquette iron plant. The Davis-Besse application was spearheaded by the University of Toledo and backed by local businesses pledging to buy that energy.

The local application made it through several rounds of the process. In the end, 7 projects were selected nationwide. The only one with any parts in Ohio is the Appalachian hub which will use natural gas to produce hydrogen and store the carbon emissions. Davis-Besse’s plan would have used both nuclear and solar power. Two clean energy sources were hoped to help the bid.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who championed the project, said Friday in a statement: “While we were not one of the seven final locations chosen, I am encouraged by the impressive network of public-private partnerships assembled for the proposal that put our best foot forward in competing for a hydrogen hub.”

In addition to the positive environmental effects of hydrogen hubs, the multibillion-dollar investment brings with it thousands of jobs. Jobs we won’t see here. The project from the Midwest which include Illinois, Indiana and Michigan said it may be spread to other states in the Midwest in the future.

Full statement from Rep. Kaptur:

“I am glad that our nation will move forward in unleashing the power of hydrogen as a clean source of energy for the future, and that the Midwest will play a role in it through the Illinois/Michigan Midwest Hydrogen Hub and Appalachian Hydrogen Hub. Our region’s Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen bid drew serious attention from the Department of Energy, making it to the final round of consideration after 79 concept proposals were submitted from across the nation. While we were not one of the seven final locations chosen, I am encouraged by the impressive network of public-private partnerships assembled for the proposal that put our best foot forward in competing for a hydrogen hub.”

“The selection of the Midwest Hydrogen Hub and Appalachian Hydrogen Hub directly adjacent to our region may provide opportunities for the public-private partnerships assembled for the Great Lake Clean Hydrogen bid to collaborate and thrive. I look forward to future opportunities for our region to show why it is a leader in the energy industry, and to find new innovations, and ways to change how we think about energy in this modern age. I will continue to champion an all of the above energy strategy that ensures Northwest Ohio and the Great Lakes Region will power our nation for generations to come.”

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