Phase 1 – Detailed Project Planning
Phase 1 activities will focus on completing specific details about the overall H2Hub project plan
and analysis to refine projections submitted as part of the proposal. These activities should
provide assurance to DOE that the overall H2Hub plan is technologically, financially, and legally
viable, with buy-in from relevant local and community stakeholders. This could include any
plans to develop a skilled labor pool through Workforce and Community Agreements. Teams
will complete preliminary engineering, construction, and commercial-scale designs. This will
include finalization of a Project Management Plan (PMP), a Risk Management Plan (RMP), an
Intellectual Property Management Plan (IPMP), an initial financial model for the entire 4-phase
effort, and final site selection for the various technologies to be included in the H2Hub.
The development of the initial H2Hub safety plan should be completed in Phase 1. Teams
should be fully engaged with the DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) team as they
develop environmental and regulatory plans to prepare for permitting and approval processes
in Phase 2. Outreach and stakeholder engagement, which should be active prior to the
application process, should continue in Phase 1 as the H2Hub site(s) are finalized and
community economic and development impacts become clearer. Phase 1 should also include a
continuation of analysis activities to refine and update LCA and techno-economic analysis (TEA)
data provided in the application.
DOE funding of up to $20 million will be available for Phase 1 for each selected H2Hub project,
with a 50% minimum cost share requirement. Applicants should plan approximately 12-18
months for Phase 1, depending on the extent of advanced planning and analysis each team has
already completed, and how quickly the awardee can move through the negotiated Go/No-Go
requirements to move into Phase 2. DOE anticipates that some H2Hub teams will have already
performed extensive analysis, planning, design, and community engagement as required in
Phase 1, and therefore some H2Hub projects may advance to Phase 2 in under 12 months.
Phase 2 – Project Development, Permitting, and Financing
Phase 2 encompasses advanced planning activities. H2Hubs will finalize their project
development plans, commercial agreements, financial structure, and complete the necessary
permitting and approval activities required to begin construction of the H2Hub. By the end of
Phase 2, engineering designs should be sufficiently mature to support completion and
execution of relevant procurement or construction contracts and overall commencement of
major project execution tasks. Long-lead procurement activities may be started in Phase 2 with
prior DOE approval. Third-party financing agreements should be completed and relevant
hydrogen offtake or feedstock agreements in place. Risk management plans should be revised
and updated to reflect progress made and risks mitigated as well as new or emerging risks and
corresponding management plans.
By the completion of Phase 2, safety and security plans should be finalized and execution ready.
All necessary permits and approvals should be in place to prepare for construction, including
completion of required NEPA reviews. Final pre-implementation LCA and TEA activities should
be completed to DOE expectations and corresponding verification and validation (V&V) plans
should be in place. Community and labor engagement should have progressed towards a
comprehensive Community Benefits Plan that reflects community input and implementation
experience to date and sets the stage for ongoing engagement. Community impact targets
should be finalized and tracking plans should be in place to monitor economic and social
impacts of the H2Hubs as they progress to implementation.
Up to 15% of the total DOE funding for the H2Hub will be available for Phase 2 activities, with a
50% minimum cost share requirement. DOE expects that Phase 2 activities will take up to 2 to 3
years but could be shorter depending on how advanced the H2Hub’s analysis, planning, design,
and community engagement activities are to this point and if the H2Hub is able to complete all
the required deliverables.
Evidence of a contingency reserve is required prior to beginning Phase 3 activities. More
guidance on contingency funding can be found in Section II.A.i.
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