The Legislature has approved the renewable hydrogen bill introduced by Senator Brad Hawkins.

The bill would authorise Douglas County Public Utility District and other PUDs to produce, distribute and sell renewable hydrogen.

The House of Representatives voted 97-0 to pass the proposal. The Senate had approved it 47-0 back in February.

Hawkins’ renewable hydrogen bill approved by Senate

“I’m excited about the opportunity for PUDs to produce and sell renewable hydrogen,” said Hawkins.

“Our PUDs have been leaders in clean energy for decades, and this bill would allow them to continue to lead with another form of clean energy. Renewable hydrogen can be used as a transportation fuel as well as for other purposes,” Hawkins continued.

Hawkins noted that Toyota is among numerous stakeholders interested in the bill, and the Washington PUD Association supports Hawkins’ legislation.

The Douglas County PUD plans to use electrolysis to separate hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules in water to produce renewable hydrogen.

“Our hydro utilities have experience difficulties in the springtime when flows are high on the Columbia River and when wind and solar generation are significant in the Pacific Northwest,” said Hawkins.

“Spilling excess water over our dams and adversely impact fish and generating additional electricity in times of oversupply can impact us economically because we are owners of the damns. Douglas PUD hopes to create hydrogen using its surplus electricity and then sell it. This bill would help make that possible,” Hawkins concluded.