edits needed

Houston's clean hydrogen hub joins request to revise federal tax credit guidance

Houston's HyVelocity Hub has joined in on a joint letter with the other six H2Hubs asking for revised guidelines. Photo via Getty Images

The group of regional hubs tapped by the United States government to receive funding to develop clean hydrogen projects have banded together to request a revision of the U.S. Department of Treasury's proposed hydrogen production tax credit (45V) guidance.

Houston's HyVelocity Hub, which was selected to receive up to $1.2 billion from the government's initiative, has joined in on a joint letter with the other six H2Hubs asking for revised requirements. HyVelocity also submitted its own letter to the Treasury.

HyVelocity's letter asks for flexibility and certainty the implementation of the “three pillars” for electricity, which include temporality, incrementality, and deliverability.

"It is imperative that to enable the desired environmental, economic, and equity goals of the IRA, private investment in hydrogen production must advance at scale and at an accelerated pace. Hydrogen production project investments require stable market projections and assurance of regulatory stability to ensure the economics of the long-term projects. To support this investment environment, we recommend that projects be granted a 'grandfathered exemption' such that for the project's life, they can use the regulations in place at the time when construction begins," reads the letter from HyVelocity.

HyVelocity, representing the Gulf Coast region, plans to create up to 35,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs across nine proposed core projects with a collective investment of more than $10 billion in private capital to bring low-carbon hydrogen to the market.

The Houston-area initiative is backed by industry partners AES Corporation, Air Liquide, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Mitsubishi Power Americas, Ørsted, and Sempra Infrastructure and The spearheaded by GTI Energy and other organizing participants, including the University of Texas at Austin, The Center for Houston’s Future, Houston Advanced Research Center, and around 90 other supporting partners from academia, industry, government, and beyond.

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A View From HETI

The work is "poised to revolutionize our understanding of fundamental physics," according to Rice University. Photo via Rice.edu

A team of Rice University physicists has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Physics for their work in high-energy nuclear physics and research into a new state of matter.

The five-year $15.5 million grant will go towards Rice physics and astronomy professor Wei Li's discoveries focused on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), a large, general-purpose particle physics detector built on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, a European organization for nuclear research in France and Switzerland. The work is "poised to revolutionize our understanding of fundamental physics," according to a statement from Rice.

Li's team will work to develop an ultra-fast silicon timing detector, known as the endcap timing layer (ETL), that will provide upgrades to the CMS detector. The ETl is expected to have a time resolution of 30 picoseconds per particle, which will allow for more precise time-of-flight particle identification.

This will also help boost the performance of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC), which is scheduled to launch at CERN in 2029, allowing it to operate at about 10 times the luminosity than originally planned. The ETL also has applications for other colliders apart from the LHC, including the DOE’s electron-ion collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, New York.

“The ETL will enable breakthrough science in the area of heavy ion collisions, allowing us to delve into the properties of a remarkable new state of matter called the quark-gluon plasma,” Li explained in a statement. “This, in turn, offers invaluable insights into the strong nuclear force that binds particles at the core of matter.”

The ETL is also expected to aid in other areas of physics, including the search for the Higgs particle and understanding the makeup of dark matter.

Li is joined on this work by co-principal investigator Frank Geurts and researchers Nicole Lewis and Mike Matveev from Rice. The team is collaborating with others from MIT, Oak Ridge National Lab, the University of Illinois Chicago and University of Kansas.

Last year, fellow Rice physicist Qimiao Si, a theoretical quantum physicist, earned the prestigious Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship grant. The five-year fellowship, with up to $3 million in funding, will go towards his work to establish an unconventional approach to create and control topological states of matter, which plays an important role in materials research and quantum computing.

Meanwhile, the DOE recently tapped three Houston universities to compete in its annual startup competition focused on "high-potential energy technologies,” including one team from Rice.

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