Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach expected to make millions as test sites for hydrogen centers – Daily Breeze

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are expected to reap millions of dollars from a federal clean energy grant announced Friday, Oct. 13, that will bring $1.2 billion to California.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and several city and Port of Los Angeles officials gathered at the San Pedro waterfront to welcome the announcement. A similar celebration was held earlier in the day in Long Beach.

“This is a very exciting morning in Los Angeles,” Bass said in her remarks.

In all, President Joe Biden has named seven sites that will become so-called hydrogen hubs:

  • Mid-Atlantic (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey).
  • Appalachia (West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania).
  • California,
  • Gulf Coast (Texas).
  • Heartland (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota).
  • Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan).
  • Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Montana).

Of the $1.2 billion statewide allocated to California, “a significant amount will come to Los Angeles,” Bass said.

Projects must now be applied at the state level to receive specific funding amounts.

“This was a broad coalition of workers, business and government that demonstrates what is possible when we work together across lines to create an inclusive future,” Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson said in a separate news conference Friday morning.

He stressed his city’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2045.

California’s award, according to a White House statement, “will leverage the Golden State’s leadership in clean energy technology to produce hydrogen exclusively from renewable energy and biomes. It will provide a blueprint for decarbonizing public transportation, heavy trucking, and port operations — the state’s major emissions drivers and sources of Air pollution is among the most difficult factors to remove carbon.

A significant amount is also expected to be used to convert to blended hydrogen fuel at the Scattergood Power Plant near Playa del Rey, a project managed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The project labor agreement is part of the California Financing Deal, which the federal government said will “expand opportunities for underserved communities and create an expected 220,000 direct jobs” in construction, with about 90,000 permanent jobs expected.

Los Angeles Councilman Tim McCusker, who represents the Watts-to-San Pedro area, also praised the news.

“You don’t have to choose between a good economy, job opportunities and a clean environment,” he said, adding that anything is possible and new technology will increase job opportunities. “We’ll do the right thing.”

U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Long Beach, issued a written statement calling the announcement “a local race for both our climate and our economy.”

Mario Cordero, CEO of the Port of Long Beach, said the funding “will play a vital role for the Port of Long Beach in its efforts to develop a promising source of clean energy” for port operations and cargo movement.

Funding was requested through a statewide application for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Center program.

Both ports have joined the request and expect to receive more than half a billion dollars to test the benefits of using the fuel to power trucks and terminal equipment.

The $1.2 billion for California comes from Biden’s announcement of a larger $7 billion federal grant early Friday to build regional hydrogen centers across the country.

The program is made possible by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and will create a network of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.

Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, noted that just five years ago, port officials on the same waterfront announced target dates of 2030 and 2035 to achieve zero-emission shipping equipment and transportation trucks, respectively. This grant will be a major boost to the port’s ongoing efforts, Seroka said. POLB has the same target dates.

Seroka also said the grant sends a message to the private sector and those working in the production chain that commercial testing and increasing the ready availability of these clean compounds is viable.

Commercial availability has been part of the challenge as ports continue what will be an uphill climb toward clean operations.

Hydrogen is part of the solution needed to clean up the environment in the future.

While the Port of Long Beach will continue to pursue electric technology, for example, green hydrogen technology will further benefit the port in its future move toward zero emissions, Cerdero said.

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