Black & Veatch partners with FirstElement Fuel as EPC contractor for the first hydrogen fueling station network in US history
Black & Veatch partners with FirstElement Fuel as EPC contractor for the first hydrogen fueling station network in US history
author Added by FuelCellsWorks, April 22, 2016

Black & Veatch and FirstElement Fuel Inc. are working to rapidly bring hydrogen fueling stations to consumers in California who want a zero emission option for their cars. FirstElement Fuel selected Black & Veatch to engineer, permit and construct 19 hydrogen refueling stations across California.

FirstElement’s True Zero brand is committed to providing its customers with access to safe, reliable, retail hydrogen fueling for the world’s next generation of vehicles powered by fuel cells. The fuel is made of the most abundant element in the universe – the first element – hydrogen. It is produced entirely from domestic sources, and when it is consumed in a fuel cell vehicle, the only byproduct is water vapor with zero harmful emissions. 

The project represents the first stage of a comprehensive program for constructing a statewide True Zero hydrogen network. It is the single largest deployment of hydrogen fueling stations in the United States. The project is backed by grants from the California Energy Commission and by loans from Toyota and Honda.

The True Zero stations are located at existing gas stations across Northern and Southern California. The stations represent a critical step in supporting greater adoption of zero emission, hydrogen fuel cell technology for transportation purposes. Vehicles that use hydrogen fuel cells create a chemical reaction with the hydrogen to generate electricity and power an electric motor.

Black & Veatch completed the first True Zero hydrogen fueling stations with FirstElement in Coalinga and Long Beach, California, in December 2015. As the halfway point between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the rural Coalinga location is emerging as a vehicle charging and alternative fuel hot spot. In the four months following completion of the Coalinga station, another six True Zero stations have been completed, representing an unprecedented scale of concurrent hydrogen fuel station construction. This first-of-a-kind implementation program is changing the industry, focusing on the rapid design and development of stations in support of automakers objectives for a geographically expansive station footprint.

This project combined FirstElement’s hydrogen domain expertise with Black & Veatch’s distributed infrastructure acumen to create a development process that was readily adaptable to a variety of site-specific locations.  The team’s focus was on development of processes and templates that maximized repeatable design and deployment elements for rapid and cost-effective implementation.

Black & Veatch is a leader in delivering distributed infrastructure solutions. All Californians will benefit in the near future from an improvement in air quality thanks to the partnership of FirstElement and Black & Veatch.

Black & Veatch is building more than just the infrastructure that brings responsible energy to people everywhere. We are committed to a clean, safe and healthy environment. We are Building a World of Difference.

  • Black & Veatch has adapted time-tested distributed infrastructure methodologies from our telecommunications deployment capabilities to support emerging transportation technology projects.
  • Construction for FirstElement was managed by Overland Contracting Inc. (OCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Black & Veatch.
  • Black & Veatch hydrogen fueling stations in California that are completed or under construction and to be completed in 2016: South San Francisco, San Jose, Costa Mesa,  La Cañada Flintridge, Hayward, Lake Forest, Santa Barbara, Saratoga, Campbell, Truckee, Hollywood, Marina del Ray, Mill Valley, Del Mar and South Pasadena.
  • FirstElement is committed to providing its customers with access to its True Zero branded safe, reliable, retail hydrogen fueling for the world’s next generation of vehicles powered by fuel cells. The fuel is made of the most abundant element in the universe – the first element – hydrogen. It is produced entirely from domestic sources, and when it is consumed in a fuel cell vehicle, the only byproduct is water vapor with zero harmful emissions.