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Illinois business leaders and researchers are hoping to leverage hundreds of millions of federal dollars to develop a thriving “hydrogen economy.”
The vision involves using the state’s plentiful nuclear power and renewable energy to separate hydrogen from water, and then using the resulting fuel to power industrial processes and heavy-duty vehicles.
The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen, or MachH2, is among more than 30 contenders seeking funding from a $7 billion U.S. Department of Energy program to jumpstart six to 10 regional hydrogen hubs across the country. Each will be aimed at producing and distributing pure hydrogen that is thus far in short supply.
The coalition behind the Illinois bid includes universities, utilities, economic development agencies, manufacturers, Argonne National Laboratory, and power producers like Constellation Energy and Invenergy, which has launched its own pilot program producing hydrogen in Illinois.