Coalition Lead Applicant: Greater New Orleans Development Foundation
Region (applicant-defined): South Louisiana
Phase 2 Federal Award: Approximately $50 million
H2theFuture, led by the Greater New Orleans Development Foundation, will receive approximately $50 million to transition the regional hydrogen energy sector by closing the cost gap between green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy sources, and other forms of hydrogen used today, which rely on fossil fuels. The need for systemic economic diversification in Louisiana is urgent. In the last decade, the region lost more than 22,000 good-paying jobs in the oil and gas industry, leaving it with legacy energy infrastructure, workforce, and a demand-base primed for transition. By jointly investing in technology, workforce, and commercial-scale end-use within the region’s industrial base, New Orleans can drive the nation’s energy transition. EDA funding will support The Nexus Center, a central campus that connects the entire cluster ecosystem. The campus will coordinate a range of programming that advances regional economic competitiveness in the clean energy space while also centering equity as a core value (e.g., an inclusive entrepreneurship program; an HBCU New Energy Specialization to position students from the region’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities as hydrogen industry leaders in business, public policy, and law; and a workforce training and apprenticeship program). Other projects include investments for testbeds to improve hydrogen cost competitiveness, a development center for hydrogen-fueled ships, and a hydrogen fueling barge located at the Port of South Louisiana that serves as a clean fueling station for existing river vessels.