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Butte seeking legislation to entice plant that would turn Montana water into green energy

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Posted at 2:46 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 16:55:02-05

BUTTE — Butte is hoping a company called Mitsubishi Power will locate near the Mining City and manufacture a green energy source from Montana’s water.

“It would be a huge economic impact and projected to be over a billion dollars of investment into Southwest Montana,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.

The plant would extract green hydrogen from water as a power source for Montana.

Butte’s chief executive was in Helena this week to support House Bill 170, which would classify green hydrogen as an energy source and tax it. It’s a step necessary before Mitsubishi Power could consider locating in Montana.

Green energy eyed in Butte

“Hydrogen, kind of the wave the future with green energy because of the carbon footprint and just as a community and a government, we think this is something we can really support,” said Gallagher.

Butte officials say the plant would be located at the Port of Montana industrial area southwest of Butte.

“It could be up to 1,000 plus jobs of construction that would go into this plant in the five years of the construction phase and then a hundred residual jobs that area here permanently,” said Gallagher.

If the legislature does classify green hydrogen from water as a taxable energy source, the chief executive hopes the state makes that taxable rate competitive, which would encourage the company to locate in Butte.

“It’s got to be competitive because if it’s not competitive, they’re going to go to other states that may offer them a better competitive tax rate,” he said.