Trades Join Major Hydrogen Effort


SACRAMENTO—The Building Trades have joined a major coalition seeking to win more than $1 billion in clean energy funding from the federal government. 

On April 7, the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) submitted its application to the United States Department of Energy as part of the Biden Administration’s Hydrogen Earth Shot Challenge. ARCHES is the official applicant and organizer for California’s proposal to become a National Hydrogen (H2) Hub.

“The new and existing clean H2 projects that are part of the ARCHES portfolio will bring tens of thousands of jobs to California for years to come,” said Andrew Meredith, President of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California. “Many of these projects will be along California’s transportation corridors, helping to provide skilled workers jobs in regions of the state where projects of this scale have been lacking.” The work will be under a Project Labor Agreement with the Building Trades.

The statewide clean hydrogen hub will prioritize equity and clean energy jobs while aiming to fully decarbonize the state’s economy. Through the application, ARCHES is seeking funding to establish a federal hydrogen hub through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

As next steps, DOE will be reviewing all applications and will be following up with applicants in the coming months. 

The DOE will award grants to at least eight of the applicants.

ARCHES, announced as the organizer for California’s DOE application last year, is a statewide public-private partnership. 

“California’s cutting edge policies, dedicated stakeholders and unmatched partnerships make it the best place in the country to build out a green hydrogen ecosystem,” said Dee Dee Myers, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

Last year, Governor Newsom signed into law a package of climate legislation that included a mandate to achieve carbon neutrality no later than 2045 and deliver 90 percent clean electricity by 2035. 

“The Building Trades play a big part in hitting these ambitious goals,” said Chris Hannan, LA/OC BCTC Executive Secretary. “We currently provide the skilled and trained workforce that keeps oil and gas refineries safe, and that builds large-scale, renewable solar and wind projects. Clean hydrogen is the next step, and we have a skilled and trained workforce ready for it.”

Angelina Galiteva is Acting CEO of ARCHES. She said, “We believe California’s leadership, early efforts on transitioning to100 percent renewable, zero-carbon electricity, and developing H2 infrastructure puts us in an excellent position to accelerate the shift to zero carbon for all sectors. California’s extensive renewables portfolio will be essential to help power hard-to-electrify sectors, and develop carbon-free fuels and long-duration energy storage solutions.”

The University of California is also an ARCHES partner. “We are pleased to continue supporting California’s ambitious sustainability goals through our partnership in ARCHES, including a transition to clean, renewable energy,” said University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “This collaboration embodies the University’s key priorities of leading on climate change, promoting health across California and strengthening inclusive, respectful and safe communities.”

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