On Sept. 27, 2023, the State of Michigan held a media briefing at the Detroit Regional Chamber to highlight its commitment to building a clean energy economy with a large investment in Norwegian company Nel Hydrogen’s expansion into the U.S. market. Since then, the investment has been recognized in with a 2023 Business Facilities impact award.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Jan. 17, 2024
As Michigan continues to attract hydrogen projects and fuel the future of clean energy, one of the marquee investments from 2023 is being recognized in the Hydrogen Energy category of Business Facilities’ 2023 Impact Awards.
Nel Hydrogen’s nearly $400 million investment to build an automated gigafactory for electrolyzer technology that will produce green hydrogen in Plymouth Charter Township received the award in the publication’s annual Deal of the Year awards.
This is the second year in a row that Michigan has been recognized by Business Facilities with an Impact Award. In 2023, General Motors’ historic $7 billion investment to grow the state’s electric vehicle (EV) and advanced battery manufacturing won an Impact Award in the EV category.
“We are honored that another company has decided to ‘Make It in Michigan.’ Nel Hydrogen’s investment has been recognized in Business Facilities’ Impact Awards and further underscores Michigan’s leadership in clean energy investment,” said MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. “Nel’s investment in Michigan demonstrates the successes arising from our legislatively designed economic development tools, clean energy policy and economic investment missions around the globe. While work remains, we celebrate this win and Team Michigan remains committed to a cleaner energy future for all Michiganders.”
In May 2023, Governor Whitmer announced that the Norwegian hydrogen company would be establishing an automated gigafactory in Michigan, creating more than 500 good-paying clean energy manufacturing jobs. The announcement followed the governor’s first economic investment mission to Norway and Switzerland in January, where she met with European companies including Nel Hydrogen to discusses opportunities for investment in Michigan.
Nel Hydrogen chose Michigan for its new automated gigafactory thanks to the state’s highly skilled workforce, universities and research institutions and proximity to auto industry leaders. And none of this comes as any surprise: building on the state’s workforce development efforts in 2023, Michigan recently moved up two spots to No. 2 in the East North Central region in Site Selection’s 2024 Regional Workforce Development Rankings, demonstrating the continued strength and growth of Michigan’s talent pool.
Michigan’s Clean Energy Track Record
Michigan is a proven leader in sustainability: in November 2023, the Michigan legislature passed legislation aimed at producing more clean energy in the state. According to an article from The New York Times on the clean energy legislation, the “package of bold laws puts Michigan on a fast track to renewable energy.”
The legislation came a year after Governor Whitmer unveiled the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which outlined a path toward carbon neutrality by 2050. And in September 2023, the state was recognized as the top state in the Midwest for clean energy jobs in the Clean Jobs America report from Environmental Entrepreneurs.
In addition to Nel Hydrogen’s investment in 2023, the state continued building on its sustainable project wins when in August, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved support for Plastic Omnium New Energies, which plans to establish what is projected to be the country’s largest hydrogen storage manufacturing plant at a facility in Grand Blanc Township – further building on the state’s leadership in clean energy and hydrogen development.
At a second, yet-to-be-determined location in Michigan, Plastic Omnium New Energies will establish a state-of-the-art testing and validation lab to support key aspects of the product’s safety systems. The project received state support thanks to job creation and its emphasis on clean energy R&D and manufacturing.