Press Release
March 21, 2024

Holland & Knight Assists Plug Power and The Chemours Company in Obtaining Department of Energy Funds for Clean Hydrogen Projects

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2024) – Holland & Knight advised Plug Power Inc. and The Chemours Company in their application and selection for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) funding for projects to advance electrolysis technologies and improve manufacturing and recycling capabilities for clean hydrogen systems and components. On March 13, the DOE announced $750 million in funding for 52 projects across 24 states to dramatically reduce the cost of clean hydrogen and reinforce American leadership in the growing hydrogen industry.

The selected projects fall into six topic areas, which directly support the national clean hydrogen strategy.

Plug Power was selected to lead projects under three topic areas:

  • Topic 1: Low-Cost, High-Throughput Electrolyzer Manufacturing. Plug Power’s project, Gigawatt Scale Electrolyzer Component Manufacturing and Stack Assembly, received $45.7 million in funding to scale up manufacturing of proton exchange membrane electrolyzer stacks to the multi-GW scale, driving down costs to meet DOE targets. This project will automate membrane electrode assembly fabrication and stack assembly and enable automated inspection with machine learning to accelerate factory acceptance testing.
  • Topic 3: Advanced Electrolyzer Technology and Component Development. Plug Power’s project, Advanced PEM Electrolyzer Membrane for Hydrogen Crossover Mitigation, received $3.2 million in federal funding to develop membranes for a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer that avoids the use of perfluorinated materials. Developments will include the incorporation of additives to enable safe, pressurized electrolyzer operation.
  • Topic 4: Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly & Stack Manufacturing & Automation. Plug Power’s project, High Volume Fuel Cell Manufacturing, Stack Assembly and Final Test, received $30 million in federal funding to enable additional domestic manufacturing capacity of 20,000 fuel cell stacks per year from a global leader in clean hydrogen technologies. The project will demonstrate an innovative expansion of their current manufacturing line.

In addition to the awards above, Plug Power was selected to participate as a project partner in six additional projects (nine awards total, spanning all six topic areas).

The Chemours Company was selected to lead a project under Topic 2: Electrolyzer Component and Supply Chain Development. Their project, Durable, High-Performance Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysis, received $10 million in federal funding to develop a low-resistance Nafion membrane and demonstrate durability in a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer stack that meets DOE targets. Membrane design and development will be conducted with manufacturing scale-up in mind, and techno-economic analysis will be conducted to estimate cost.

Plug Power and The Chemours Company, alongside a consortium that includes national laboratories, universities, and key fuel cell and electrolyzer industry partners, were selected as project partners for a project the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will lead under Topic 6: Recovery and Recycling Consortium. The project, H2CIRC, received $50 million in federal funding to develop and demonstrate recycling technology approaches to address end-of-life and critical supply chain challenges for proton exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers. The goal of the project is to provide a blueprint for the hydrogen industry to efficiently and sustainably recover and recycle materials and components from fuel cells and electrolyzers.

Holland & Knight Partner Taite McDonald, who leads the firm’s Public Policy & Regulation Group’s Clean Technology team, and Senior Counsel Katie Hantson led the firm’s representation of Plug Power and The Chemours Company.

More information on the clean hydrogen projects can be found here.

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