AUGUSTA — Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, introduced LD 1775 this week before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, which would establish a clean hydrogen pilot program.
The bill would direct the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to design and operate a pilot program to produce clean hydrogen.
Facilities selected for the pilot would be chosen, in part, for their ability to produce hydrogen while reducing life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and would have to meet federal emissions limits to qualify for production tax credits that would help fund the pilot under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a press release noted.
The PUC would report back to the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee on the status of the program by Nov. 1, 2025.
Under the pilot program, other factors for the PUC to consider when selecting hydrogen production facilities would include the public interest and paying workers adequate wages. Facilities would also be prohibited from selling or purchasing thermal renewable energy credits, per the release.
“Clean hydrogen has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to be an integral part of Maine’s green energy revolution, combating the effects of climate change,” said Doudera. “Investing in this fuel is not a replacement for other types of renewable energy such as solar and wind, but it can help our state meet our climate goals in sectors that are particularly hard to decarbonize.”
“Clean hydrogen should be important to Maine because it enables several applications that complement the state’s climate goals,” said the bill’s lead cosponsor, Rep. Gerry Runte, D-York. “As a compressed gas, hydrogen can fuel vehicles and be used to generate electricity or stored in excess to be used when needed. The availability of hydrogen will be a key catalyst in attracting high tech businesses and jobs to Maine.”
The bill will have a work session in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee in the coming weeks.
Doudera is serving her third term in the Maine House and is a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Marine Resources Committee. She represents the towns of Camden and Rockport and is the Maine State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. She also chairs the Legislature’s Gun Safety Caucus.