2 California hydrogen fueling station projects awarded $6 million grantAugust 17, 2023
The California Energy Commission has given its approval to bring the state closer to its 200 locations goal.
The California Energy Commission has awarded grants totaling $5.78 million for two hydrogen fueling station projects that will help the goal to make leaps forward toward its goal of 200 filling locations.
The nearly $6 million in grant funding was awarded to First Element Fuel and Air Products and Chemicals.
The two projects will bring another six hydrogen fueling station locations to the state, according to Jane Berner, a California Energy Commission air pollution specialist with the fuels and transportation division of the commission. Berner spoke on the topic at a commission meeting on August 9.
“This solicitation sought projects that would provide new fueling points for fuel cell electric vehicles to further out transportation decarbonization goals,” said Berner.
The solicitation to which Berner referred was issued in October 2022 through California Budget Act of 2021-2022 funding. It was intended as support for projects that will offer publicly available hydrogen fueling station locations to enhance the continued growth of fuel cell vehicle use in the state.
Existing hydrogen fueling station locations in California have been increasing H2 availability.
“There’s actually been an increase in the amount of hydrogen that these stations are now delivering,” said Commissioner Patricia Monahan. “It’s because trucks need them in order to meet California’s increasingly stronger requirements around zero-emission transportation.”
Air Products and Chemicals
The grants were split between Air Products and Chemicals and First Element Fuel. Air Products and Chemicals received $2.78 million, which matched the amount for building multiuse H2 hydrogen fueling station locations with four light-duty positions and a minimum of two heavy-duty positions for refueling, said Berner.
“The goal of this agreement is to develop and install a multiuse hydrogen refueling station in Galt, California, to demonstrate that hydrogen refueling infrastructure can be deployed at costs that will be attractive in an expected commercial marketplace,” read the statement of work issued by Air Products and Chemicals. “A further goal is to provide cost-competitive hydrogen for multiuse vehicles at consumer pricing that can be sustained in the next three to five years without government funding programs for infrastructure.”
“Air Products looks forwards to deploying a reliable and resilient hydrogen refueling station at commercial scale that will provide fuel for heavy-duty trucks and light-duty passenger vehicles,” said Kristin Cleven, Business Development Manager at Air Products and Chemicals.
First Element Fuel
First Element Fuel received a grant for $3 million, with a match of $8.885 million for building four light-duty positions and two heavy-duty positions for refueling, added Berner.
“California has established aggressive goals to decarbonize and reduce unhealthy emissions from the transportation sector through the transition of light-duty and medium- and heavy-duty trucks to zero-emission technologies,” said the scope of work by First Element Fuel. “Fuel cell vehicles are one of the critical means to achieve these goals; however, sufficient supporting hydrogen refueling stations are required.”
California is pushing hard toward its hydrogen fueling station goal of 200 locations in the state.
The state has made available $271 million in total funding to build out its hydrogen fueling station infrastructure, according to Berner. The state is following an executive order to reach a 200-location goal. Currently, there are 65 stations in the state that are fully operational. They serve around 50,000 H2-powered vehicles.
According to growth projections cited by Berner, California expects that its light-duty fuel cell vehicles will reach about 65,000 within the next five years.
“So, we expect to have sufficient capacity to support that number of vehicles,” said Berner. The commission aims to use the most recently issued grants to help keep up with that projected capacity requirement in California.
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