Nel Hydrogen Will Build $400M Gigafactory In Southeast Michigan

The Norwegian hydrogen company will build its new automated gigafactory in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth Township, where it will create 517 jobs.

Oslo, Norway-based Nel Hydrogen will invest $400 million to build a new automated gigafactory in Plymouth Charter Township, Michigan. The facility will create 517 jobs to produce green hydrogen using electrolyzer technology. The company announced the project in May, at the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit, but had not yet picked a specific location within Michigan. Nel Hydrogen had considered several states across the U.S. before choosing Michigan for its new manufacturing facility.

“Plymouth Charter Township is an ideal location for Nel,” said Nel Hydrogen CEO Håkon Volldal. “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.”

Nel Hydrogen Michigan
Nel Hydrofen CEO Håkon Volldal (left) meets with Governor Gretchen Whitmer. (Photo: Nel Hydrogen)


The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) will support the project with a $10 million Michigan Business Development grant. The MSF board has also approved a 15-year, 100% State Essential Services Assessment (SESA) Exemption Request, valued at up to $6.25 million.

Early this year, Governor Gretchen Whitmer met with European companies – including Nel Hydrogen – during her first economic investment mission to Norway and Switzerland. She focused on attracting job-creating business investments, particularly in Michigan’s next-generation of automotive manufacturing and clean energy independence ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nel Hydrogen’s up to $400 million gigafactory creating more than 500 good-paying jobs to Southeast Michigan,” said Gov. 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.”

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.

“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 Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and President and Chair of the MSF. “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.”

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In the annual Clean Jobs America report from Environmental Entrepreneurs released earlier this month, 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 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 mobility and beyond, companies and consumers are making increasing demands for clean, sustainable energy,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “Nel’s products and technology are an absolutely critical piece to enabling our economy to decarbonize, and to fully leverage the potential of hydrogen.”


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