The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), along with the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Oregon State University, Purdue University, and the University of Delaware, has been awarded a $2 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contract to spearhead the Hydrogen Education for a Decarbonized Global Economy (H2EDGE), a workforce development initiative. H2EDGE is designed to develop and grow the emerging industry workforce to advance hydrogen technologies and end-use applications. The project is funded through DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), with an additional cost-share funding from the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI), jointly led by EPRI and GTI, as well as participating universities.
H2EDGE has a dual focus on developing newly trained personnel and enabling the existing labor force to migrate into the hydrogen field by way of enhanced industry coordination and workforce readiness initiatives.
"EPRI is proud to lead the charge training tomorrow's energy workforce in this emerging technology area," said Rob Chapman, Vice President of EPRI's Electrification and Sustainable Energy Strategy. "To more broadly enable low-carbon resource applications across the economy, EPRI will apply a variety of existing and emerging approaches to safe and economic hydrogen technology production, transportation, storage, and use."
H2EDGE is an addition to EPRI's broader workforce development project known as GridEd (The Center for Grid Engineering Education), through which DOE and EERE funds the GREAT with Data Workforce Development Initiative. H2EDGE expands the bandwidth of GridEd by adding hydrogen to the technical agenda where power systems, distributed resources, and digital systems are brought together.
These efforts will lay the foundation for a robust hydrogen workforce in the United States by addressing workforce development skills in four key technical areas: production, delivery, storage, and use. The area of safety will underpin each of these four pillars.
This effort is an integral part of LCRI, a five-year R&D commitment to build a risk-informed understanding of options and technologies for deep, economy-wide decarbonization. The initiative will consider application and acceleration of technologies that will be needed to support decarbonization goals, which will benefit the environment and general public.
"The LCRI is a global collaborative for advancing R&D around low-carbon resources, including hydrogen, by developing promising and affordable technologies for the 2030-2050 timeframe," said Neva Espinoza, EPRI Director of R&D. "Workforce development and training are essential as we prepare to deploy advanced technologies."
Using content created through the LCRI and other partners, the H2EDGE initiative will design, develop, and deliver professional training materials. These materials will important as the industry begins to recruit and train hydrogen industry workers. They will also be useful in creating college and university curricula.
EPRI has built a strong and diverse industry support team for H2EDGE. Participants include utilities, companies in the electric, gas, and hydrogen markets and local government agencies, including: Air Liquide, American Electric Power, Arizona Public Service, Cavendish Energy, LLC, Chemours Company, LLC, Con Edison, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, HydroStar USA, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, New York Power Authority, Salt River Project, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, W. L. Gore & Associates, and Xergy Inc.
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