Hawkins’ renewable hydrogen bill receives Senate approval

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Hydrogen
Officials with Douglas PUD testify before the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee on Feb. 6 in favor of Senate Bill 5588, Sen. Brad Hawkins’ proposal authorizing the production, distribution and sale of renewable hydrogen. From left to right: Douglas PUD General Manager Gary Ivory, Douglas PUD Commissioner Molly Simpson and Washington PUD Association Executive Director George Caan.

OLYMPIA…The Douglas County Public Utility District and other PUDs in Washington could soon have the authority to produce and sell Hydrogen power under a Senate-approved bill introduced by 12th District state Sen. Brad Hawkins. Senator Hawkins’ office announced the legislation’s passage in a Friday news release

News Release:

Substitute Senate Bill 5588 would authorize PUDs to produce, distribute and sell renewable hydrogen. The Senate voted 47-0 today to approve it. The proposal now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration and is among the first Senate bills available for House consideration this session.

“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,” said Hawkins. “Renewable hydrogen can be used as a transportation fuel as well as for other purposes.” Hawkins noted that Toyota is among numerous stakeholders interested in the bill.

hydrogen
Photo courtesy of Senator Brad Hawkins

Douglas PUD, which asked Hawkins to sponsor the bill, plans to use electrolysis to separate hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules in water to produce renewable hydrogen. Renewable hydrogen does not produce carbon emissions when it is produced or consumed.

Officials with Douglas PUD and the Washington Public Utility Districts Association testified in favor of the bill during its public hearing in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee Feb. 6.

“Our hydro utilities have experienced difficulties in the springtime when flows are high on the Columbia River and when wind generation is significant throughout the Pacific Northwest,” said Hawkins. “Spilling excess water over our dams can adversely impact fish, and selling power below cost can impact us economically because we are the owners of the dams. Douglas PUD hopes to create hydrogen from its surplus electricity and then sell it. This bill would help make that possible.”

The bipartisan bill has 32 co-sponsors, including 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans.

“I’m honored to have such strong bipartisan support behind this proposal,” said Hawkins. “I hope the House gives it the same strong approval that the Senate did today.”

Senator Hawkins discussed the bill in a NCWLIFE interview last week.

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.