LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced 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.
About Nel Hydrogen
Nel has a history tracing back to 1927 and is today a leading pure play hydrogen technology company with a global presence. The company specializes in electrolyzer technology for production of renewable hydrogen, and hydrogen fueling equipment for road-going vehicles. Nel’s product offerings are key enablers for a green hydrogen economy, making it possible to decarbonize various industries such as transportation, refining, steel, and ammonia.
Nel Hydrogen’s parent is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and employs approximately 650 people globally. This will be the company’s first investment in Michigan.
In the annual Clean Jobs America report from Environmental Entrepreneurs released in September 2023, Michigan was recognized as the top state in the Midwest for clean energy jobs. According to the report, clean energy businesses added more than 5,400 workers in 2022, bringing the total to nearly 124,000 Michiganders in clean energy and clean transportation careers.
A report released by the MEDC and University of Michigan (U-M) last year found that hydrogen can play a significant role in accelerating Michigan’s clean-energy transition away from fossil fuels in the coming decades. “Hydrogen Roadmap for the State of Michigan” was prepared by U-M’s Center for Sustainable Systems with funding from MEDC and the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research. It is a high-level assessment intended to help guide planning and future detailed analysis of a Michigan “hydrogen ecosystem” that encompasses production, delivery, storage, and end-use applications.
In August, the MSF 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 in Michigan – further building on the state’s leadership in clean hydrogen development.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming Nel Hydrogen’s gigafactory as we continue to Make It in Michigan as a leader in clean technology,” said?Quentin L. Messer, Jr.,?CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “Thanks to Governor Whitmer for her willingness to take the Michigan story on the road, ongoing legislative support for economic development tools that work and the Michigan Economic Development Foundation for supporting this year’s economic investment missions around the globe, we’ve been able to secure transformational investments in support of Michigan’s clean energy future. Significant work remains; trust and believe, Team Michigan will continue to compete with anyone to bring projects home and make a difference in the lives of our fellow Michiganders.”
Additional Support for Nel Hydrogen Project:
“I am very excited to have Nel Hydrogen, a global leader in renewable energy coming to Plymouth Township! The Michigan International Technology Center (MITC) located in Plymouth Township is the right place for Nel and perfectly suited for this growing industry,” said Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-West Bloomfield). “Nel Hydrogen is also a perfect fit for Michigan; creating one of the largest electrolyzer plants in the world and expanding Michigan’s position when it comes to renewable energy.”
“I applaud Nel Hydrogen’s selection of Plymouth for their new manufacturing facility,” said State Rep. Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor). “This facility stands as a testament to Michigan’s skilled workforce, spirit of innovation, and groundbreaking collaboration among our universities and research institutions. Together, we’re driving clean energy innovation, combating climate change, creating jobs, and making a more sustainable future.”
“Nel Hydrogen’s investment in Plymouth Township is a testament to Michigan’s commitment to advanced manufacturing and clean energy innovation,” said State Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth). “Together, we are driving progress towards a sustainable future, where emerging technology meets our state’s rich manufacturing heritage. This investment not only bolsters our economy but also solidifies Michigan’s role as a leader in the clean energy revolution.”
“Plymouth Township is honored to have been selected by Nel Hydrogen for this revolutionary facility that will help bring a new source of clean, sustainable energy to power the future of the auto industry and beyond,” said Township Supervisor Kurt Heise. “This $400 million investment by Nel will bring over 500 new jobs to our community and will be the centerpiece of our Michigan International Technology Center Redevelopment Authority – converting vacant prison properties into engines for jobs and economic development. I want to thank the MEDC for their support, along with Wayne County CEO Warren Evans, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and the Detroit Regional Partnership for their hard work to help make this project a reality.”
“In mobility and beyond, companies and consumers are making increasing demands for clean, sustainable energy. Nel’s products and technology are an absolutely critical piece to enabling our economy to decarbonize, and to fully leverage the potential of hydrogen,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “The Detroit Regional Partnership is grateful that Nel has chosen to bring this world-class facility, and high-quality engineering and manufacturing jobs, to the Detroit Region, and we look forward to supporting their long-term growth in our market.”