Montana community plans hydrogen-producing, carbon-reducing solar farm
A community along the I-90 northwest of Missoula is one of the sites in a multi-state carbon reduction project that won federal funding earlier this month.
The project participants in Washington, Oregon and Montana are eligible to receive up to $1 billion dollars in funding.
The 300-person unincorporated community of St. Regis will host a solar farm that generates hydrogen as a fuel by splitting water molecules in a process called electrolysis.
Arne Thompson, one of the managers of St Regis Solar, says the proposed facility will help supplement local employment after a 2021 lumber mill closure removed around 100 hundred jobs from the community.
“We’ll be building out a training center there to train folks in hydrogen handling, solar panels, what it takes to maintain an electrolyzer,” said Thompson.
The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub is one of seven decarbonization projects that received funding through the U.S. Department of Energy. The hydrogen hubs aim to decrease carbon emissions in sectors like heavy industrial and transportation.
Participants are on the verge of negotiations with the agency.