The $1 billion award will boost decarbonization efforts in Illinois and other Midwestern states.

CHICAGO — Illinois joined Indiana and Michigan in announcing a $1 billion federal funding award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the Midwest Hydrogen Hub, which is a network that enables decarbonization through strategic hydrogen use and will reduce carbon emission by approximately 3.9 million metric tons per year.

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“The fight against climate change and the path toward a sustainable future require innovative solutions,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Through this collaborative partnership with our neighbors and with the federal government’s support, we will foster a healthy economic environment for the hydrogen production market, while creating more clean energy jobs and lowering emissions across the region.”

The DOE award builds on Illinois’ landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which set a national standard for aggressive decarbonization goals by pledging to be completely reliant on clean energy by 2050.

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The Midwest Hydrogen Hub is a multi-state, multi-sector network that includes Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, with the potential to expand into other Midwestern states. Its location in a key U.S. industrial and transportation corridor will promote decarbonization efforts through hydrogen use in steel and glass production, power generation, refining, heavy-duty transportation, and sustainable aviation fuel. The estimated annual carbon emission reduction of these sectors is equivalent to removing the emissions of more than 867,00 gasoline fueled cars.

The network will leverage each state's unique assets to expand the reach of the local hydrogen economy and advance the development of the hydrogen production industry across the Midwest.

Additionally, the Midwest Hydrogen Hub anticipates creating 13,600 jobs and investing around $15 million into training and employment services for the clean energy workforce. It will also promote equitable hiring and contracting practices, with specific targets including:

  • 40 percent of subcontracted dollars going to Minority/Disadvantage Business Enterprises
  • $30 million for an inclusive entrepreneurship program that will foster new start-ups.
  • 45 percent diverse hiring

Investing in clean hydrogen is a key component of decarbonizing the transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture industries. By jumpstarting the hydrogen market in the Midwest, the state of Illinois will add to its robust number of clean energy jobs and bring down the cost of clean energy alternatives for those who reside here. Additionally, the status of globally competitive industries will be protected, and emerging industries will be encouraged to increase their footprint in the Midwest.

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