The Port of Long Beach could be getting a boost of up to $300 million to support its creation of a hydrogen fuel hub, the organization announced today.
The funding would include a portion of the up to $1.2 billion that was awarded to California this morning by the U.S. Department of Energy for its green hydrogen hub program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and one of the largest investments in the history of the Department of Energy.
The Port of Long Beach requested $150 million in funding, as did the Port of Los Angeles, which would be matched by the ports and their tenants, totaling a potential $600 million between both ports.
The program supports the development and expansion of projects focused on clean energy and creating green jobs, with the ultimate goal of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2045.
“It’s a great day for the state of California, a great day for the city of Long Beach, and certainly a great day for our neighbors and communities that will see us move towards our mission,” Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero said during the announcement event.
ARCHES, or the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems, which administered California’s grant application earlier this year, is a statewide public-private partnership designed to accelerate renewable hydrogen’s (H2) contribution to decarbonizing the state’s economy. The city of Long Beach and the Port first announced that they were joining the partnership last year.
While it is still unclear if the Port will receive the full $150 million, the award will support the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell cargo-handling equipment and mobile hydrogen fueling trucks and stations in the ports’ terminals, officials said.
Future phases are expected to add additional cargo-handling equipment and support the statewide deployment of 5,000 hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks.
More specifics will be known in the weeks ahead, said Cordero.
“This is a historic grant,” Cordero said, which will be seen as a “pivotal moment in the creation of a sustainable green and thriving economy for decades to come, for the state of California and beyond.”
In November 2017, the Port of Long Beach committed to a goal to move toward zero-emission cargo handling equipment by 2030, and zero-emission trucks by 2035, an update to the Clean Air Action Plan, first adopted by the port in 2006.
Earlier this year, the Port also announced the implementation of a new policy, a commitment to decarbonization known as ZEERO, or Zero Emissions, Energy Resilient Operation. The funding will help to advance this policy, Cordero said.
In recent months, the Port of Long Beach issued a request for information to gauge interest in developing hydrogen infrastructure in the harbor, according to Cordero. Numerous proposals were received, covering a variety of potential project types, which will be used to determine the next steps for advancing hydrogen infrastructure.
The Port has made great strides to improve air quality, cutting emissions of diesel pollution by 91% since 2005, with the support of its labor and industry partners, Mayor Rex Richardson said during the event.
“That’s what we’ve done in the past 15 years, but it doesn’t include where we’re going and what we’re continuing to commit to,” he said.
Not only will the funding help to reduce pollution, but it will also support green jobs—from building hydrogen storage to production and manufacturing, Richardson added.
“We are proud of our improvements and goals, especially the ongoing journey to become the world’s first zero-emission seaport,” Richardson said.