BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards sends a congratulations to Greater New Orleans, Inc. for the plan to create a new energy source in south Louisiana.

The Greater New Orleans, Inc. and its affiliates have been awarded $50 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Challenge for the off-shore win powered hydrogen energy industry cluster. Nicknamed H2theFuture, the project is one of the 21 projects chosen for funding through the American Rescue Plan competitive grant program.

“Today’s announcement by President Biden and Secretary of Commerce Raimondo is a significant milestone in Louisiana’s transition to a cleaner, more sustainable and more diversified energy future,” Gov. Edwards said. “As the first state in the Gulf South to implement a Climate Action Plan, Louisiana has demonstrated the vision and leadership required to meet the historic challenge that climate change represents. This infusion of federal and state dollars, on top of the nearly $20 billion of private capital investment in Louisiana emissions reduction projects announced in the last two years alone, moves us closer to the ultimate goal: net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

H2theFuture is a plan to effectively create a new clean energy model in Louisiana, made up of five interconnected streams:

  • Workforce training — to “upskill” displaced oil and gas workers, rural residents, and minorities, led by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System
  • Business development — to attract new and existing local and regional energy companies into the hydrogen value chain, led by Baton Rouge Area Chamber, partnering with One Acadiana, South Louisiana Economic Council, southwest Louisiana Economic Alliance and GNO, Inc.
  • Higher Ed-based “testbeds” — to conduct research of low-carbon hydrogen technologies at Nicholls State University, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, and University of New Orleans
  • Public-private partnerships — to “de-risk” green hydrogen investments at commercial scale, starting with development of a first ever hydrogen fueling barge at the Port of South Louisiana.
  • Organizational and governance “nexus” — to create a green hydrogen planning hub focused on industry growth and sustainability, to be located within The Beach at UNO.

“Securing one of the coveted Build Back Better Challenge awards solidifies Louisiana’s status as a global leader in the energy transition and a prime location for renewable energy investment and innovation,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “An economic development project of this scope and complexity requires an extraordinary level of stakeholder collaboration and cooperation. LED is proud to have played a role in leveraging existing economic partnerships and helping to forge new ones to move our entire state forward.”

For more information on the energy project, click here.