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St. Louis utilities, businesses eye development of hydrogen power facility

A group of St. Louis utilities and businesses say they're preparing to apply for federal aid in a bid to develop a hydrogen hub.
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ST. LOUIS — A group of St. Louis utilities and businesses say they're preparing to apply for federal aid in a bid to develop a hydrogen hub, seen as a potential renewable energy source for industrial and other users.

The group — which includes Ameren, Spire, engineering firm Burns McDonnell, energy infrastructure owner MPLX LP, Mitsubishi Power, the Marquis Industrial Complex in Illinois, Alton Steel and Greater St. Louis Inc. — says it expects by next spring to apply for federal funding through an $8 billion competitive program that's part of the infrastructure law passed in 2021 and requires a 50% match in local funding. The feds are looking to fund six to eight hydrogen hubs across the country, officials said.

"The opportunity for the region is going to be to decarbonize what are typically difficult to decarbonize sectors of the economy," said Jason Bargender, an executive with Mitsubishi Power. "Hydrogen is a good fuel source for things like long-haul trucking that are typically hard to do with electrification."

The group says it's still studying local demand for such power, and that it hasn't determined where such a facility would be located. The feds have indicated applications will need to detail demand for 50 to 100 tons per day, Bargender said.

The facility, he said, could produce so-called blue hydrogen, produced from natural gas, with carbon dioxide then captured and stored. It could also make green hydrogen, which uses renewable energy to split water into its constituent parts, hydrogen and oxygen.

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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