Mississippi’s Hy Stor Energy could soon make the Magnolia State one of the nation’s biggest “green” hydrogen hubs. According to CleanTechnica, the company submitted its Mississippi Clean Hydrogen Hub (MCHH) proposal to the Department of Energy. If approved, Hy Stor could receive up to $1 billion in federal government funding to produce environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel.
The Mississippi Clean Hydrogen Hub could provide “green” energy throughout the southeast.
The MCHH could provide “critical access to the heartland of the US” for clean energy, Hy Stor said. “Major logistics and shipping corridors make it a vital hydrogen storage and transmission location.”
Hydrogen fuel only produces water and heat when used, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. However, much of the hydrogen fuel produced today requires methane gas, an ozone pollutant. The United States Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program is a $7 billion investment in clean hydrogen fuel.
The Mississippi Clean Hydrogen Hub would produce enough zero-carbon hydrogen fuel to decarbonize several energy-intensive industries in the area. For example, Indiana’s Steel Dynamics produces 13 million tons of steel annually, the third-largest producer in the United States. The MCHH could provide completely renewable energy to the company as part of its commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2030. “The MCHH will [help industries] decarbonize their operations rapidly and lead the way toward a low-carbon future,” said Hy Stor.
Clean hydrogen fuel adoption has already begun in California.
The United States is pushing for electric vehicles to make up half of all new car sales by 2030. However, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (HFCVs) are another environmentally-friendly vehicle option for eco-conscious drivers. They produce no harmful emissions and are more time efficient than traditional electric vehicles. EVs take anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours to fully charge, depending on the charger. However, hydrogen vehicles like the Toyota Mirai can fill up in about four minutes.
Although HFCV adoption is extremely low amongst drivers in the United States in 2023 for several reasons. According to Car and Driver, in 2022, only around 15,000 HFCVs were on the road in the US. And they’re all in California, the only state with serviceable HFCV infrastructure. Comparatively, millions of EVs are out there, with a rapidly-growing nationwide infrastructure.
Additionally, only three hydrogen fuel cell cars are available on the market in the United States. They are the previously-mentioned Toyota Miria, the Hyundai Nexo, and the Honda Clarity FC. Car and Driver reports Hyundai has sold less than 1,500 Nexos since its US release in 2018.
The MCHH could help with HFCV adoption.
HFCV adoption is so low in the United States in 2023 for several reasons. First, as mentioned, California is the only mainland state with HFCV infrastructure (Hawaii also has HFCV fueling stations). And they’re also far more expensive than traditional electric vehicles. For example, the Nissan Leaf starts at just over $29,000, whereas the Toyota Mirai starts at $49,500.
Although hydrogen fuel is much more expensive than gasoline, HFCVs are far more energy efficient than combustion engine vehicles. Additionally, Motor Trend reports every new Mirai comes with a $15,000 prepaid fuel card good at any hydrogen station. The biggest issue in 2023 with HFCV adoption is that there is no infrastructure outside of California. However, the Mississippi Clean Hydrogen Hub could seriously boost hydrogen fuel production in the United States. In turn, the boost could lead to an increase in HFC stations and infrastructure nationwide.