A Hydrogen Fuel ‘gigafactory’ In Michigan Will Receive Funding From The Biden Administration To Create More Than 500 New Jobs


IN MICHIGAN—This month, President Joe Biden’s administration gave out federal grants that will help build a new hydrogen fuel plant in Plymouth. This will create hundreds of new jobs and make Michigan even more of a national leader in the move to clean energy.

Through Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the US Department of Energy gave $50 million in funding this month to Nel Hydrogen to help them build a new $400 million factory in Plymouth. The building that hasn’t been built yet will create more than 500 jobs, thanks to extra grant money from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is advancing an American-led clean hydrogen economy that is creating high-quality, well-paying jobs and speeding up a manufacturing renaissance in communities across the United States,” said Jennifer Granholm, secretary of energy for the US.

A Norwegian company called Nel Hydrogen makes automatic gigawatt electrolyzers. These are machines that take water and turn it into oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be used as clean fuel for cars that don’t put out any pollution. Whitmer first talked about the new plant last summer. When it’s done, it will likely be one of the biggest factories in the world that makes electrolyzers.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, CEO of Nel Hydrogen Håkon Volldal, and other business and community leaders met at Macomb Community College earlier this month to reveal the federal investment.

Volldal said, “The help from the Department of Energy and the state is very important for building our factory.” “We’re glad to see the Department of Energy taking these important steps to support a clean energy economy, and we appreciate their support for a long time.”

Whitmer said she talked to Nel executives on a “investment mission” to Norway and Switzerland in January. She made the case for the company to grow into Michigan.

He chose Michigan because it has good universities and a “highly skilled workforce.” Officials from the state say that the closeness to General Motors’ operations—which worked with the company in the past to create its hydrogen technology—helped seal the deal.

With its future growth in Michigan, Nel will also become the first company in the country to make equipment for liquid alkaline electrolysis. This is a process that uses renewable energy sources to turn water into hydrogen fuel.

When it comes to building a hydrogen economy, having the largest electrolyzer manufacturing facility in North America is a game-changer for our state. It will create jobs, help us meet our healthy climate goals, and make our economy stronger, said Zachary Koldin, the state of Michigan’s chief infrastructure officer.

Hydrogen is the most common and lightest element in the world, and state officials say it will be a key part of Michigan’s move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy.

New studies show that Michigan is now the state with the fastest growth in clean energy technology in the country. This is according to a new study from Atlas Policy. Since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act were signed into law, Michigan has received more than $1.3 billion in federal funds to support at least 99 projects connected to infrastructure and clean energy.

The Nel project will not only create more than 500 new jobs, but it will also fit in perfectly with Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan. The plan’s main goal is to make Michigan carbon-neutral by 2050, with other short-term goals aimed at lowering carbon emissions and creating clean energy.

Last year, the federal government gave up to $1 billion to the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen to help build regional supply lines for hydrogen trucks and heavy-duty vehicles. This will create about 1,500 more full-time jobs in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

Nel reportedly wants to build the facility in stages so that he can “match supply with demand.” Eventually, he wants to increase operations in Plymouth so that they can fuel about 1.4 million cars.

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