MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the governors of Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota to develop a regional clean hydrogen hub, which will work to identify opportunities for advancing clean hydrogen production and use in the region.
“Clean hydrogen has the potential to play a key role in our clean energy efforts here in Wisconsin and across the country, and I’m proud to be working together with this bipartisan group of governors to do the right thing for our states’ futures,” said Gov. Evers. “This agreement is another positive step toward developing a strong network for clean hydrogen producers and consumers, and it will contribute to our critical work to expand economic opportunity, create jobs, reduce emissions, and lower long-term costs as we work to achieve the goals of our Clean Energy Plan.”
Hydrogen is a versatile fuel source that releases only water as byproduct when used in a fuel cell. The fuel is referred to as “clean hydrogen” when produced in a way that emits little to no greenhouse gases, and it has the potential to be a key component of decarbonizing multiple sectors of Wisconsin’s economy, including transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.
Today’s announcement is in addition to the creation of the Midwestern Hydrogen Coalition, announced last month, which includes six other Midwest governors with the goal of creating a strong clean hydrogen economy, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, creating clean energy jobs, and lowering long-term energy costs.
Under the MOU, the four states agree to develop a proposal for a Heartland Hydrogen Hub with the goal of obtaining federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which last week announced $7 billion in available funding to create regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country. A regional clean hydrogen hub is a network of clean hydrogen producers, potential clean hydrogen consumers, and connective infrastructure located in same region.
The funding was appropriated under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and states are encouraged to participate in multiple proposals if deemed viable. As such, neither the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition nor the Heartland Hydrogen Hub MOUs are exclusive. The recently signed federal Inflation Reduction Act also creates tax credits for hydrogen production, which will make clean hydrogen production more competitive with other methods of hydrogen production, providing another pathway toward a strong, clean energy economy in Wisconsin.
In his first year in office, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #38, creating the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy and directing the Office to develop a plan to ensure all electricity consumed within the state is 100 percent carbon free by 2050. In April 2022, Gov. Evers announced the Office had released the state’s first-ever Clean Energy Plan to achieve this goal by identifying dozens of pathways and strategies to lower energy bills and prices at the pump for Wisconsin families, promote energy independence by reducing reliance on out-of-state energy sources, create an estimated more than 40,000 jobs by 2030, and invest in job training and apprenticeship programs in innovative industries and technologies. The signed MOU is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.