Planned hydrogen station in Edmonton cancelled, at least for now

Planned hydrogen station in Edmonton cancelled, at least for now

March 14, 2024 0 By Amanda Giasson

The Albertan city hit the pause button on building the station.

Edmonton, a city in the Canadian province of Alberta, had plans to build a hydrogen station in its south end to support H2 buses and vehicles. For now, those plans have been put on hold. Why? The demand for an H2 refueling station just isn’t there.

Not enough money leads to lack of demand.

The lack of demand has to do with limited funds. In the fall of last year, a funding request was made for 40 new hydrogen-powered buses. Without the proper funding to see this through, the city bought 20 diesel buses instead.

Without the H2 buses, there’s no need for infrastructure, such as a permanent hydrogen station that was announced back in spring 2023, to support the non-existent vehicles.

The hydrogen station was initially meant to supply the H2 buses and private sector.

When the request was made for proposals on constructing the hydrogen station, Global News reports it was to be built in partnership with the Alberta Motor Transport Association and Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB partner Transition Accelerator. The location for the H2 refueling station was to be at the Centennial Garage.

If the station had seen the light of day, it would have supplied Edmonton’s hydrogen passenger buses (now cancelled) and future heavy-duty hydrogen vehicles used by the private transportation sector.

Figuring it out.

However, not all is lost. According to Tim Cartmell, City Councilor for Ward pihêsiwin, he believes the hydrogen station project isn’t “dead forever,” and that it’s “getting a reset”. Cartmell added that hydrogen is a resource that will be a part of the city’s future.

Hydrogen Station - H2 Future

The branch manager of fleet and facility services for the City of Edmonton, Arjan Sharma, agrees, saying that the project’s hiatus is simply a matter of “short-term change in demand”.

Edmonton reportedly has every intention to return to market once it has more clarity regarding hydrogen technology and there is consistent demand for large-scale volumes of the clean fuel. In short, hydrogen needs to prove it can provide maximum value to the city and industry before it gets the green light.

Lack of demand is an ongoing problem.

hydrogen news ebookIt’s not only in Canada where there isn’t much demand for permanent hydrogen station infrastructure. This is a common theme in many parts of the world, including the United States.

According to the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, as of last year (2023), the number of open retail H2 stations in the US is 59 and at least 50 stations are in various stages of planning and building. Still, most of them (existing and planned) are in California. There is only one hydrogen station in Hawaii and five planned for northeastern states. Considering the size of the US, it’s evident lack of demand exists here too. It will be interesting to see how much this demand changes by the end of the decade.

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