Alberta unveils commercial hydrogen station, the first in the province

Alberta unveils commercial hydrogen station, the first in the province

April 1, 2024 1 By Erin Kilgore

This marks an important milestone for the Canadian province.

Specifically, the launch of the commercial hydrogen station is a major milestone in the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge. The H2 refueling station, which was unveiled by Blackjacks Roadhouse in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, marks the beginning of an expanded hydrogen fueling network across Western Canada.

Meeting the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge.

Building a hydrogen station network across Western Canada is vital to the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge’s primary objective. The goal is to get 5,000 hydrogen-powered or dual-fuel-hydrogen vehicles on the roads in Western Canada. An objective it plans to meet by 2028.

Reaching this goal will require massive investment into fueling infrastructure and supporting tech. Beyond that, achieving the goal is also dependent on obtaining the vehicles required to sustainably transition the western part of the nation’s commercial transportation sector to hydrogen.

Nikola Corp. provided the hydrogen station via its HYLA brand.

The commercial hydrogen station in the Edmonton region is a HYLA fueling station. The station will be set up in a key transportation corridor that links Calgary and the Edmonton region, Alberta’s two largest urban centers. This corridor is along Highway 2 in Leduc County, Alberta. It is one of Western Canada’s busiest highways. Around 96,000 vehicles pass by Blackjacks Roadhouse daily.

Hydrogen station - Alberta government celebrates first privately-owned hydrogen fuel station - Image Source - City News

Alberta government celebrates first privately-owned hydrogen fuel station – Image Source: CityNews YouTube Video – 2:17

The H2 station will help to meet the fueling requirements of the Nikola hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles intended for the Canadian market. It will also make sure the refueling experience for hydrogen vehicles in the Edmonton region is seamless and reliable.

The current station is a HYLA modular fueler that uses a 700-bar pressure-fill system. As the demand for hydrogen grows, the plan is to replace the modular fueler with a permanent facility and relocate the modular fueler to expand the HYLA fueling network across the province.

Alberta wants to accelerate the hydrogen economy, but can it?

hydrogen news ebookAlberta, the leading producer of hydrogen in Canada, believes that establishing infrastructure for hydrogen stations will help accelerate the hydrogen economy in the Edmonton region and beyond, making it possible to meet evolving demand. The Edmonton region, specifically, is reportedly “moving aggressively” to take advantage of Canada’s hydrogen economy.

However, while one commercial station is a decent jumping off point, it remains to be seen if building this network will happen or be nothing more than a pipe dream. As recently reported by Hydrogen Fuel News, the second largest city in Alberta put plans to build a hydrogen station on hold. This was due to limited funds that saw Edmonton opt for 20 diesel-powered passenger buses over the initial funding request for 40 new hydrogen-powered buses. Without the buses, there was no demand for the station and the project is currently on hiatus. If lack of funding is an issue, this could be a major hurdle in accelerating the city and province’s hydrogen economy goals.

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