New York assesses role of green hydrogen in decarbonisation strategy


The New York State government has announced that it will explore the role green hydrogen can play in accelerating and ensuring its decarbonisation goals are met.

State governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a green hydrogen feasibility study, plans to join international green hydrogen consortiums, pilot projects, and funding for green hydrogen energy storage projects. All these initiatives are aimed at accelerating the state’s green hydrogen market and encourage adoption.

Green hydrogen study

The state government, through its energy agencies including the New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will be launching a green hydrogen feasibility study to gain knowledge on possible applications of green hydrogen.

The study will be conducted in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to compile data regarding the use of green hydrogen in reducing carbon emissions whilst ensuring a secure energy supply. The study will focus on how New York can align its green hydrogen strategy with existing plans of ensuring 70% of the region’s electricity is generated using renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Building on relationships with NREL and the United States Department of Energy, NYSERDA will benefit from local, regional, national, and global insights on the evolution of green hydrogen to help guide State direction and decision making. 

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Green hydrogen demonstration project

The demonstration project will include the New York Power Authority (NYPA) partnering with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), General Electric (GE), Sargent & Lundy, Fresh Meadow Power and hydrogen supplier Airgas. The project will test blending green hydrogen with natural gas to generate electricity at NYPA’s Brentwood Power Station on Long Island, commissioned in 2021 and comprises natural gas-powered GE combustion turbines. The aim will be to assess the effect of different blends in reducing carbon emissions.

GE will provide a hydrogen/natural gas blending system whilst Sargent & Lundy will supply its engineering and project safety services and Fresh Meadow Power will provide piping system design, material procurement and installation services for the eight week project.  Airgas will provide green hydrogen for the project and EPRI will assist with the project design and technical evaluation. The demonstration project is expected to begin in fall 2021.

National and international green hydrogen groups

To ensure, New York has access to data regarding the development of green hydrogen and to foster further development of the market, NYSERDA has joined national and international hydrogen groups including:

The Center for Hydrogen safety, a global community of more than 75 government, industry, and national lab participants supporting and promoting hydrogen safety and best practices, to ensure New York State is at the forefront of hydrogen safety. This means NYSERDA will have access to safety best practices on hydrogen, training courses and materials, and a safety panel of experts available for specific demonstration project safety reviews. 

The HyBlend Collaborative Research Partnership, a consortium of six national labs and fifteen university/industry partners, aiming to generate a database to allow New York to assess the use of existing infrastructure for hydrogen and to develop general principles of operation of blended hydrogen/natural gas delivery systems. 

Funding for long-duration green hydrogen energy storage

The New York government, through NYSERDA, aims to encourage innovation within the green hydrogen energy storage sector by launching a $12.5 million project funding initiative. The funding will be issued through the Renewable Optimization and Energy Storage Innovation Programme for projects with six-plus hours in duration.
Project submissions should advance, develop, or field-test hydrogen, electric, chemical, mechanical, or thermal-electric storage technologies that will address cost, performance, and renewable integration challenges. The initiative will target early studies, product development, multi-stage, demonstration projects and federal cost-share. 

The need to include green hydrogen in the state’s sustainability plans falls under efforts by the government to adopt new and low-carbon technologies capable of helping the region to meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 85% by 2050, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said: “Supporting innovation and studying new technologies is important to remain on the cutting edge of evolving solutions that will complement our existing decarbonization efforts and the Climate Action Council’s work to ensure that New York has a reliable and cost-effective energy system.” 

Governor Cuomo, adds: “New York is leading the way forward on protecting the environment and combating climate change.

“Part of our ongoing efforts is setting an example for other states and nations to follow. As we transition to a clean energy economy, we are exploring every resource available as a potential tool to address climate change and documenting what we find to share as part of broader national and global conversations so we can build a brighter, greener future for all.”