Plans have been unveiled for Northwestern US’ first hydrogen station.
Expected to open in late 2021, the hydrogen station will be located in Washington State and is part of the Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Project, which will lay the foundation for the expected growth of zero emission personal and heavy-duty hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) in partnership with the Douglas County Public Utility District, the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance and Toyota Motor North America on Tuesday received a $1.9m grant from the Centralia Coal Transition Board to fund the project and deliver the first hydrogen station in Washington State.
The renewable hydrogen will be made from Douglas County PUD’s clean, renewable hydropower via electrolysis, a process in which electricity is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Renewable hydrogen holds the potential to substantially reduce carbon emissions from a multitude of sectors including transportation, agriculture, petroleum refining, and natural gas utilities.
“As Washington continues to transition to a clean energy economy, zero-emission fuels, like renewable hydrogen, can play an important role in decarbonising our transportation, energy, and industrial sectors,” said Governor Jay Inslee.
“Transitioning to clean fuels as soon as possible is critical to meeting our climate goals.”
Bi-partisan support to develop renewable hydrogen production began with Sen. Brad Hawkins’ (R-East Wenatchee) sponsorship of SB 5588 in 2019, providing authority for the state’s Public Utility Districts to produce and distribute renewable hydrogen.
HB 2042, the Green Transportation Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma) and Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) included incentives for development of renewable hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure. Rep.
Mike Steele (R-Chelan) secured funding for Douglas PUD to begin engineering their production facility.
“This project will deliver a transformational demonstration of renewable hydrogen that has the real potential to bring more zero emission vehicles to our roads and reduce harmful emissions,” said Evan Ramsey, Senior Director of the Renewables Program at BEF.
“By pairing renewable hydrogen production with the first fuel cell electric vehicle fleet in Washington, the project will build public awareness around hydrogen and fuel cell technology and assist the state in expanding support of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle transportation in the coming years.”
Molly Simpson, Douglas County PUD’s Commission President, added, “The opportunity to demonstrate fuel cell electric vehicle technology has never been timelier as Douglas County PUD is currently procuring a first-of-its-kind renewable hydrogen electrolyser facility, which can provide clean fuel to Washington State.”
“This project will pair our new renewable hydrogen production facility with a new hydrogen fuelling station and begin by serving a fleet of approximately 10 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.”