Fortescue brings hundreds of green jobs to America with NREL partnership

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) today announces it will partner with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to create green jobs in America and advance green hydrogen production and technologies.

This relationship will catalyse hundreds of millions of dollars of value and investment in the North American energy transition and economy.

FFI expects to invest $80 million over 10 years in research projects with NREL. The collaboration has the potential to create more than 350 high quality research, engineering, and management jobs. Combined with the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) this investment is expected to catalyse a strong increase in manufacturing in the green industrial ecosystem, which much be established if the world is to change to a zero-pollution future.

NREL has a 45-year track record of world leading, cutting edge science and research development. Beyond the direct 350 science and technology careers, this initiative is expected to, upon the commercialisation of technology to the world, lower emissions and indirectly create thousands of new jobs in science, technology, manufacturing and green energy.

Dr Andrew Forrest, Fortescue Executive Chairman attended a signing ceremony today in Pittsburgh at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum with NREL Director Martin Keller.

The announcement builds on FFI’s new US Technology Hub, based in the burgeoning green energy research and development community of Colorado. FFI’s technology investments in the Commonwealth, European Union, Australasia and now in North America, ensures that Fortescue will stay leading edge in the massive new green science, technology and manufacturing ecosystem.

Dr Forrest said, “NREL’s dream is to have its green technology commercialised. Our dream is to commercialise their green technology.

“We are planning this investment because of NREL’s exemplary scientific and research competence in this technology and because of the world-leading green investment environment in America due to the IRA.

“I thank Senator Joe Manchin and the US representatives for making the IRA a reality and catapulting the U.S. from laggard to leader in what will be the largest energy source in the world.

NREL Laboratory Director Martin Keller said, “NREL is committed to making sure our research gets to market—where it can improve everyday life and strengthen our global economy.

“To do that, we continually seek partners equally interested in advancing lowest-emissions energy technologies that can be brought to commercial scale. We know that the swiftest pathways to achieve impact are by working with motivated partners such as FFI, with the resources and intent to drive global change.

“The NREL team is eager to get to work with FFI and our collaborators and partners across the Colorado hydrogen ecosystem.”

Andy Vesey, Fortescue’s Head of North America, said, “for Fortescue, it means we are now examining capability at national scale for solar technology, battery and electrolyser manufacturing in America. This will be complemented by our deep integration into the American science and technology community.

“America is now the best place for green hydrogen investment. This will create and save jobs for Americans and reduce emissions.”

Fortescue has a world leading fully costed construction plan to reach real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, announced at the UN General Assembly earlier this week. This strategy will eliminate 3 million tonnes of carbon per annum from the atmosphere and save the company US$818 million per year. The work undertaken through this partnership will contribute to this mission.

Alongside the NREL collaboration and establishment of Technology Hub, FFI also has plans to establish further collaborative research relationships with the Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, as well as other leading research labs and universities across the USA.

The initial term of the collaboration between NREL and FFI will be 3 years, with the ability to extend the term to create a long-term relationship.

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