Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced recently that Norwegian hydrogen company Nel Hydrogen has chosen Plymouth Charter Township as the location for its new automated gigafactory for production of electrolyzer technology for green hydrogen production. The announcement, which will create 517 good-paying jobs and invest $400 million in the local community, builds on Michigan’s leadership in advanced manufacturing and clean energy.
Through electrolysis, hydrogen can be produced from water and renewable energy; as the most abundant and lightest element in the universe, hydrogen can play a significant role in accelerating Michigan’s clean-energy transition away from fossil fuels.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nel Hydrogen’s up to $400 million gigafactory creating more than 500 good-paying jobs to Southeast Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “Earlier this year, I was honored to represent Team Michigan on my economic mission to Norway, which helped us close the deal and bring home this cutting-edge facility. Nel Hydrogen chose Michigan over several other states and nations because of our skilled workforce, strong network of universities, and world-leading mobility industry. Together, we will keep building on our leadership in cars, chips, and clean energy and share our story to bring even more jobs and investments home to Michigan. Let’s get it done.”
The project, expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $400 million and create more than 500 good-paying clean energy manufacturing jobs, will be supported in part by a $10 million Michigan Business Development Program grant. The MSF board also approved a 15-year, 100-percent State Essential Services Assessment Exemption Request, valued at up to $6.25 million, in support of the project.
The new 507,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be used to manufacture Proton Exchange Membrane and Alkaline hydrogen electrolyzers and is expected to be a full greenfield build constructed specifically for Nel Hydrogen.
In January, Governor Whitmer met with European companies – including Nel Hydrogen – during her first economic investment mission to Norway and Switzerland, which focused on attracting job-creating business investments, particularly in Michigan’s next-generation of automotive manufacturing and clean energy independence ecosystem. The governor announced Nel Hydrogen’s investment at the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Maryland in May.
Nel Hydrogen considered several states across the country before choosing Michigan for its new manufacturing facility. At the time of the May announcement, Nel CEO Håkon Volldal said the company chose Michigan thanks to the engagement from Governor Whitmer, in addition to what the state could offer, from its highly skilled workforce and financial incentives to the collaboration among the state’s universities, research institutions, and strategic partners.
“Plymouth Charter Township is an ideal location for Nel. Here, we have access to a highly educated workforce, universities and research institutions, and we are close to our collaborating partner, General Motors. In addition, the Government and the authorities of Michigan have provided a very attractive financial support package for us,” says Volldal.