DOE makes major loan to hydrogen energy project

The Energy Department announced on Wednesday that it will make a major loan to a facility that would create and store clean hydrogen energy. 

It will loan $504.4 million dollars to the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project, which will be located in Delta, Utah. 

Hydrogen energy involves causing chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen in a battery-like cell to produce electricity and water. This process requires energy to complete, and different types of energy including renewables and fossil fuels can be used to make it happen. 

It is considered clean when sources such as solar and wind that don’t emit planet-warming gases are used. 

Since hydrogen energy can be stored, it is considered a method of advancing the deployment of renewable energies that can only be produced during certain times of the day, such as when the wind blows. 

The newly announced loan is the first loan guarantee for a new clean energy project that the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office has issued since 2014. 

Previous loan recipients have had varied degrees of success, making the program’s use somewhat controversial. 

Probably the most high profile successful recipient of an Energy Department loan is electric-car maker Tesla.

However, the department also loaned money to Solyndra, a solar energy start-up that eventually went bankrupt. 

The latest news comes as part of a push from the Biden administration to expand renewable  energy and fight climate change. 

“Accelerating the commercial deployment of clean hydrogen as a zero-emission, long-term energy storage solution is the first step in harnessing its potential to decarbonize our economy, create good paying clean energy jobs and enable more renewables to be added to the grid,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. 

As part of its climate push, the Energy Department has previously said it would aim to bring down the cost of hydrogen energy by 80 percent. 

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