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Hydrogen plant may spur more economic development



The board of directors of the Business Development Corporation of Vernon met with Managing Consultant Rick Hardcastle, who reported that since the announcement of the new $4 billion green hydrogen production facility, the BDC office has fielded numerous enquiries from industries interested in the area to support and work with Air Products/AES Corporation. Of those, Hardcastle said, two appeared especially promising for possible future relocation to this area.

The facility is due to begin commercial operations in 2027 and will use wind and solar energy from the surrounding area to generate the necessary power to operate – estimated at 1 gigawatt of power. It is expected to create 115 new jobs and produce 200 metric tons of green hydrogen per day.

After review and approval of the financial report, Hardcastle updated the board on the status of the performance agreement the BDC approved for Proway America LLC, and Ricky Rater, owner of Pearson Livestock. Hardcastle said the attorney was still drawing up the final agreement, but it should be ready for signing by the end of the week.

The BDC board approved, in a Dec. 1 meeting, a loan in the amount of $150,000, forgivable if the new company meets certain requirements including hiring eight new employees. The company plans on building a $545,000 production facility on land owned by Rater’s Pearson Livestock Equipment in east Vernon.

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