hydrogen energy 021022SPRINGFIELD – A measure by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) to establish a Hydrogen Economy Task Force in Illinois advanced out of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Thursday.

"Through the establishment of our Hydrogen Economy Task Force, we set Illinois on track to become a hydrogen powerhouse in the Midwest, and nationwide,” Ellman said. “As a center of a potential Midwest Hydrogen Hub, we can harness our excess energy in the state to generate hydrogen, and in turn use it to support the agricultural, refining, and transportation industries in Illinois and across the Midwest.  Hydrogen Hub investment means innovation and good jobs.”

Senate Bill 3613 establishes the Hydrogen Economy Task Force, which is responsible for establishing a plan to create a Hydrogen Hub in Illinois, identifying opportunities to integrate hydrogen into the economy, analyzing barriers to hydrogen development, and recommending policies to catalyze deployment of hydrogen in the state economy.

The legislation is intended to put Illinois in a position to become a Clean Hydrogen Hub. Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. and the University of Illinois have partnered with the intent of participating in the federal Clean Hydrogen Hub program. Through this program, the Secretary of Energy must select at least 4 regional Hubs to prioritize opportunities for skilled training and long-term employment.

“Not only would a Hydrogen Hub boost our statewide economy and create jobs for our talented and driven workforce, it would establish Illinois as a national leader in clean energy and hydrogen generation,” Ellman said.

SB 3613 will now go before the full Senate.