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Mon, Apr 22, 2024

Monarch Energy Eyes $1B Investment in Rockford, IL for SAF

Rockford, IL to Get $1 Billion Hydrogen SAF Investment

Monarch Energy, a California-based green hydrogen project developer, is contemplating a monumental $1 billion investment in Rockford, Illinois, to produce sustainable aviation fuel.

This initiative was discussed in a recent meeting that included U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and local officials. The fuel produced would primarily support operations at the nearby Chicago Rockford International Airport, potentially extending to other regions.

The project's feasibility hinges significantly on federal financial incentives, specifically the Section 45V tax credit, which is currently under review by the Department of Treasury and the Department of Energy. The decision will determine whether the hydrogen energy Monarch plans to produce qualifies as renewable, a crucial factor for funding and implementation.

Senator Duckworth expressed strong support for the initiative, highlighting its potential to significantly benefit Illinois's economy and its alignment with broader environmental objectives. She emphasized her commitment to advocating for favorable policy outcomes that would facilitate this substantial investment in Rockford.

Monarch Energy is eyeing a 1,400-acre site south of the airport for the project, where they plan to use carbon dioxide from nearby landfills to produce the fuel. This sustainable aviation fuel could replace up to 50% of conventional Jet A1 fuel, used widely across the aviation industry, thus substantially reducing carbon emissions.

The proposal also promises considerable economic benefits. The development is expected to generate hundreds of construction jobs and employ approximately 50 people permanently once operational. Additionally, the project could catalyze further industrial development in the area, leveraging its strategic location near significant transportation infrastructure and a Foreign Trade Zone.

Local leaders, including R1 Regional Planning Council's Executive Director Mike Dunn Jr., noted that the airport's major tenants, such as UPS and Amazon, would benefit from reduced carbon footprints, aligning with their green mandates and providing the airport a competitive edge in sustainability.

Overall, this project not only aims to foster local economic growth but also positions Rockford and Illinois at the forefront of the green energy revolution, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable and economically revitalized Midwest.



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