It’s Thursday, June 6, and Utah is getting a new clean energy project.

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Ahh, Utah: land of canyons, Mormons, and … the world’s largest clean energy storage project? Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, announced a new initiative last week that could result in a major piece of U.S. energy infrastructure.

The project aims to supply 150,000 households — around 21 percent of homes in the Beehive State — with power for a year. The Advanced Clean Energy Storage project will use a mix of developing technologies to create the energy and the state’s salt caverns to store it. We’re talking compressed energy storage, large-scale flow batteries, and solid oxide fuel cells.

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Now you may be asking yourself, “A Republican governor working to create a clean energy utopia in a red state? What’s the catch?” Well, one of the technologies, renewable hydrogen, currently sources its power from natural gas . One of the companies involved, however, said it is working on moving towards renewable hydrogen powered by clean energy.

So take all of this with a tiny grain of salt (cavern).

Zoya Teirstein

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