LB 565 gains final approval
Nebraska legislators were on final reading of several bills Tuesday, including a measure that adopts the Nuclear and Hydrogen Development Act.
Senator Bruce Bostelman says the bill allocates $500,000 over the next two-year budget to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, to provide grants through public power districts and the Nebraska Hydrogen Hub working group.
The money would be used for engineering and modeling as Nebraska seeks one of the U.S. Energy Department’s regional clean hydrogen hubs that will be established.
“NPPD has been a strong leader in the hydrogen hub process and in this grant application, we are now one of 33, I think it is, states that the Department of Energy says you can go ahead and continue on….and give us a final RFP, or proposal for them to consider for one of it’s either eight or nine hubs, I think it is, in the United States.”
An emphasis in the legislation is to identify workforce needs for the nuclear and hydrogen industries…and educational programming for training that workforce.
“Monolith has started with their new development, new technology that they use by Hallam in their plant that has started there. They have their first, we’ll call it reactor that has been built that does carbon black. But, they’re going to have a huge expansion program going on. In the next three years, they’re going to need, I think it’s two or three hundred new employees.”
The Monolith Materials facility is located at NPPD’s Sheldon Station, near Hallam. Bostelman says the work group would focus on the workforce needed in the development of hydrogen and nuclear energy, a workforce that also could aid other industries with skilled workers.
Bostelman says there’s also a science, technology, engineering and math component to all of this. “How do we reach out now into our high schools…junior high. How do we start connecting with students at that level….those kids…to start building their interest and their skills in all these trades, but also professionally, as well.”
Bostelman says having a very good community college system to help with training is also positive. LB 565 was passed on final reading Tuesday….by a vote of 41-0.
Source: News Channel Nebraska Central