East Wenatchee, WA.—The 2020 Supplemental Capital Budget includes $250,000 for Douglas PUD's Renewable Hydrogen Project requested by 12th District Representative Mike Steele.
“I am excited to be able to support the amazing innovation being championed by Douglas County PUD. As a state representative for the most hydro-dense district in the nation, I continue to be inspired by the way our PUD's harness this energy resource—keeping our rates low and energy clean. This investment into the future of hydrogen will again set us apart as national leaders in the delivery of efficient, clean energy," said Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan.
Just last legislative session, championed by Senator Brad Hawkins, PUDs were granted authority to produce, distribute and sell renewable hydrogen. Since then, Douglas PUD has been researching how to best utilize renewable hydrogen for the benefit of their customers. “My fellow Commissioners and I are humbled by the legislative support our renewable hydrogen project has created, said Molly Simpson, Douglas PUD Commission President. “We are looking for ways to maximize efficiency and revenue from the PUD's hydroelectric generation by producing renewable hydrogen, which will help keep the rates low and the lights on."
Douglas PUD has purchased property in the Baker Flats industrial area outside East Wenatchee to build the renewable hydrogen pilot project utilizing excess capacity from the Wells Hydroelectric Project. Anticipated to be operational in 2021, the Supplemental Capital Budget funds will be used for design and engineering primarily provided by RH2 Engineering, making this a public-private benefit.
“We are fortunate to have leaders such as Rep. Steele, the Douglas County PUD Commission and staff willing to step out of the box and innovate creative ways to utilize our natural resources," said Eric Howe, RH2 Engineering, Inc. Branch Manager. “This forward thinking will help propel Douglas County PUD and the State of Washington into the future for creating renewable fuels. This project will serve as a model for other hydro-power agencies along the Columbia River and beyond."
“This project would not be possible without the efforts of the legislators in our 12th District supporting hydropower and the benefits it brings to the region," said Simpson.