Founded more than 15 years ago when it built and operated the world’s first by-product hydrogen production plant, HTEC (Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation) has seen tremendous growth and today builds, owns and operates hydrogen production facilities, distribution systems and fuelling stations.
Playing a key role in Canada’s hydrogen-fuelled future, HTEC today boasts a growing network of retail hydrogen stations in British Columbia, with four stations open for business in Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, and Victoria, and plans for many more!
This impressive network was of course a hot topic as we sat down with Colin Armstrong, President and CEO of HTEC, to find out what the company has been up to and its plans for 2021, as part of H2 View’s A Christmas Twist: The 12 Days of Content series.
H2 View (H2V): Can you tell us a little more about HTEC’s activities in the last 12 months?
Colin Armstrong (CA): Growth has been front and centre for us over the last year! Our team is up by 50% and it obviously takes a lot of focused intention to ensure everything continues to run smoothly and effectively. I’m excited to see the way HTEC is developing with this influx of new people, ideas, and enthusiasm. We truly have the best team!
As far as other activities, we opened two new retail stations in BC during 2020. We also began construction of two more stations, and our hydrogen production facility. Outside BC, we signed contracts to provide fuelling infrastructure for two heavy-duty projects: one with the Alberta Zero-Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC), and another with GTI and the Port of Los Angeles for the Zero Emissions for California Ports (ZECAP) project.
H2V: What were your original goals for 2020? Have you had to revise these this year due to the coronavirus pandemic?
CA: We are so grateful not to have faced the same challenges so many businesses have as a result of this pandemic. We’ve had to change the way we work at the office and our worksites a few times, to ensure we’re always complying with provincial health guidelines and orders. I’m proud of the way our staff has adapted and how they work to support each other through these challenging times.
H2V: This year you opened a hydrogen fuelling station in Vancouver as part of your partnership with 7-Eleven. Can you tell us a little more about this partnership and what it is currently working on?
CA: Partnerships are a driving force in our business. We are proud to work with 7-Eleven Canada to expand the possibilities for drivers of hydrogen electric vehicles to travel beyond Metro Vancouver and into other parts of BC. We have two stations in operation with 7-Eleven today—in North Vancouver and in Victoria on Vancouver Island. A third station, in Kelowna, will begin operating in 2021, opening up BC’s beautiful Okanagan region to FCEV drivers.
H2V: What’s been the most exciting application or growth driver for hydrogen this year?
CA: Two things stand out for us. From a policy perspective, the extension of low carbon fuel regulations here in BC is great news, as well as the Federal Government’s commitment to a national hydrogen strategy. We’re also excited to see transit agencies around the world acknowledging that fuel cell buses are now commercially available and the role these vehicles play in meeting goals for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
H2V: Does HTEC have any exciting plans for 2021? Can you tell us about any future plans?
CA: I’m going to have to say is “Stay tuned!” for now! We’ll continue to open new stations and deliver the projects currently underway and will be announcing exciting new projects and partnerships early next year.
H2V: Finally, in the spirit of the time of year and theme of the series, if you could have one hydrogen related thing for Christmas, what would it be and why?
CA: I’d really like a ski rack for my new Nexo! Bigger picture, I want to see broader and deeper understanding of hydrogen’s role in the global energy transition. HTEC’s mission is to unlock hydrogen’s potential to reduce pollution and climate change through the work we do. Every day, we talk to more and more companies looking for technology and infrastructure solutions involving hydrogen: people recognise we can’t create a sustainable future without it.
A Christmas Twist: The 12 Days of Content series concludes tomorrow with an exclusive interview with H2 MOBILITY Deutschland.