ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Illinois has a relatively diverse energy portfolio: coal, natural gas, wind, solar, nuclear — and soon hydrogen, thanks to a $1 billion grant from the federal government.
The grant will be spread between Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Illinois state leaders believe it will play a big role in meeting clean energy goals. The money will be used to create the Midwest Hydrogen Hub.
“In order for Illinois to be able to decarbonize and get to our zero emissions by the year 2050, hydrogen is an incredibly important part of our ability to decarbonize,” Republican Senator Sue Rezin said.
Governor J.B. Pritzker celebrated the announcement, saying it will make Illinois a leader in clean energy. The grant will help the state meet the lofty goal it set in 2021 when lawmakers committed the state to become completely reliant on clean energy by 2050.
“Through this collaborative partnership with our neighbors and with the federal government’s support, we will foster a healthy economic environment for the hydrogen production market, while creating more clean energy jobs and lowering emissions across the region,” Pritzker said in a statement.
Rezin said the focus will be building on the state’s already existing nuclear infrastructure with companies already committing to bringing new jobs to plants.
“They’re going to use part of the money from the grant to build up the world’s largest nuclear-powered hydrogen facility at the LaSalle Plant,” Rezin said. “They’re going to invest almost a billion dollars to build this out, which means there’ll be thousands of jobs created.”
Pritzker said that while this coalition currently involves only 3 Midwestern states, they plan on including more Midwest states down the line.