Xcel Energy to receive federal award as Biden continues effort to replacing fossil fuels

A large award is expected to be given to Xcel Energy for its Heartland Hydrogen Hub project as part of an initiative from the Biden administration to help reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to create energy across the country.

President Joe Biden is expected to make the official announcement during a trip to Philadelphia on Friday.

Friday morning, the White House announced $7 billion will be given out to clean-energy projects to kickstart both the development and the production of hydrogen fuel. Xcel Energy says their award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program for the project could be as much as $925 million.

The program and funds were created after the Infrastructure Law was passed. CLICK HERE for additional coverage of hydrogen fuel from the Associated Press.

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The Heartland Hydrogen Hub would produce low-carbon hydrogen and decarbonize regional supply chains in an effort to create clean energy jobs across multiple states.

The hub is expected to decrease carbon emissions by more than one million metric tons per year, which according to Xcel Energy is equivalent to taking 220,000 gasoline-powered vehicles off the road. In addition, the company says it plans to use low-carbon hydrogen at a commercial scale in the following states:

  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana

“Clean fuels are a critical component of enabling economy-wide decarbonization. The Heartland Hydrogen Hub is game-changing initiative that demonstrates how we’re accelerating the development of the next generation of clean energy technology with significant benefits for our customers and the environment. The strong partnership with our Upper Midwest states and other energy providers demonstrates our commitment to increasing economic impact while achieving carbon reduction goals for our customers,” said Bob Frenzel, the president, CEO and chairman of Xcel Energy.

Gov. Tim Walz’s office says the regional project is expected to create nearly 3,800 jobs. Walz also issued a statement following Friday’s announcement.

“This is a major investment in Minnesota and the region’s economy and vote of confidence in our ability to innovate. Minnesota is ready to meet the changing needs of our energy, transportation, and agriculture industries. By developing clean hydrogen, we can reduce emissions and mitigate climate impacts for future generations,” said Walz.

Minnesota democratic U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith also sounded off on the award, and issued the following statements:

“This investment will be an important part of our energy future, unlocking innovation and new sources of energy that will benefit our whole state. The combined public/private investments will create good-paying jobs and power Minnesota for years to come.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)

“The clean energy transition is happening – the question is whether we lead or follow. I want us to lead. This funding will jumpstart the production of hydrogen from clan energy resources in Minnesota to help decarbonize various sectors of the economy, while creating more than 1,500 good paying jobs in our state. I’m proud of our work to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which made investments like these possible.”

Senator Tina Smith (D-Minnesota)