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Ontario wants to be a leader in hydrogen innovation

Province pools $15 million in funding for expansion, research and innovation in hydrogen
Atura Power conceptual of the Niagara Hydrogen Centre

Queen’s Park wants to establish a new clean and energy sector with hydrogen.

The Ontario government is creating a Hydrogen Innovation Fund and is backing that up with a pool of $15 million over the next three years for projects that can deliver clean energy to the provincial grid and to manufacturers.

Considered a versatile fuel, hydrogen can be used for vehicles, industrial processes and integrated into existing natural gas systems while emitting little to no greenhouse gases.

The fund will support projects in three streams:

  • Existing facilities already built or operational and ready to evaluate how hydrogen can support Ontario’s clean grid.
  • New hydrogen facilities not yet constructed but could be in-service by a specified date to demonstrate how hydrogen can support Ontario’s clean grid.
  • Research studies investigating the feasibility of novel applications of hydrogen or support future hydrogen project decision making.

The Independent Electricity System Operator will administer the Hydrogen Innovation Fund. Applications open for the fund in April.

No website link to the fund was provided in a provincial news release.

According to the release, Natural Resources Canada modelling projects that hydrogen could deliver 30 per cent of the country's fuels and feedstock by 2050 and create 100,000 jobs in Ontario. 
The province said this emerging sector is evident at the Niagara Hydrogen Centre, led by Atura Power, which is forecasted to increase Ontario’s hydrogen production “by eight-fold.” Atura is a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation. The facility will be constructed on the grounds of the Sir Adam Beck power station.

It’s part of the government’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy to make Ontario a leader in energy innovation. The strategy identifies potential hydrogen hubs in Niagara, Halton Hills, Nanticoke, Brighton Beach and Lambton where low-carbon hydrogen demand can be matched with existing power energy.

“The Hydrogen Innovation Fund will help to lay the groundwork for hydrogen to contribute to our diverse energy supply, supporting game-changing investments in electric vehicle production, green steelmaking and clean manufacturing that will create good paying jobs, grow our economy and reduce emissions,”said Energy Minister Todd Smith in a statement.

“Our government will continue to support innovation and investment in clean technologies that will position Ontario as the clean manufacturing and transportation hub of the future while leading Canada in greenhouse gas emission reductions,” added Environment Minister David Piccini.