California Regulators Grant $6 Million to Two Hydrogen Fueling Station Projects

By August 11, 2023 4   min read  (685 words)

August 11, 2023 |

California Hydrogen Stations 1 e1691756111548
  • 65 hydrogen stations currently serve 50,000 vehicles
  • Light-duty EVs projected to reach 65,000 in five years

The California Energy Commission has approved nearly $6 million for two projects that will provide hydrogen refueling stations to make progress toward the state’s goal of 200 hydrogen refueling stations.

The $5.78 million in grant funding went to Air Products and Chemicals, and First Element Fuel to develop a combined six refueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles, Jane Berner, air pollution specialist with the commission’s fuels and transportation division, said during an Aug. 9 commission meeting.

“This solicitation sought projects that would provide new fueling points for fuel cell electric vehicles to further out transportation decarbonization goals,” Berner said.

The solicitation was released in October 2022 with funding from the California Budget Act of 2021-22. The grant solicitation was to support projects that will provide publicly available hydrogen refueling stations to enable continued growth of the California fuel cell electric vehicle market.

“There’s actually been an increase in the amount of hydrogen that these stations are now delivering,” Commissioner Patricia Monahan said. “It’s because trucks need them in order to meet California’s increasingly stronger requirements around zero-emission transportation.”

Air Products and Chemicals

Air Products and Chemicals received a $2.78 million grant with a match in the same amount to build multiuse hydrogen refueling stations with four light-duty fueling positions and at least two heavy-duty fueling positions, Berner said.

“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,” according to Air Products and Chemicals’ scope of work. “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.”

The station in Galt, California, would have a capacity of 6,000 kg/d with the renewable hydrogen sources from an Arizona electrolyzer plant, Berner said. It is estimated to serve 20 large trucks a day and reduce carbon intensity 60% compared to hydrogen made from natural gas.

“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 Kristen Cleven with Air Products and Chemicals.

First Element Fuel

First Element Fuel received a $3 million grant with an $8.885 million match to build four light-duty fueling positions and two heavy-duty fueling positions, Berner said.

“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,” according to First Element Fuel’s scope of work. “Fuel cell vehicles are one of the critical means to achieve these goals; however, sufficient supporting hydrogen refueling stations are required.”

The station in Kettleman City, California, would have a capacity of up to 18,000 kg/d and is estimated to serve about 200 trucks a day.

“All of our heavy-duty stations that we’re planning will have a light-duty side,” said Matt Miyasato with First Element Fuel. “So, that’s our plan for all of our heavy-duty decisions as we move forward.”

California’s hydrogen station goal

There is a total of $271 million in funding for hydrogen refueling infrastructure, Berner said. An executive order set a goal of 200 hydrogen stations.

There are currently 65 fully operational hydrogen stations that serve about 50,000 vehicles, Berner said. Light-duty EV projections are expected to reach 65,000 in the next five years.

Before this solicitation, there were 176 stations funded, but since then 50 stations have been withdrawn by the grant recipient and two other stations were cancelled, Berner said, which brings the new number of funded stations to 130, which could serve roughly 190,000 light-duty vehicles.

There are currently 65 fully operational hydrogen stations that serve about 50,000 vehicles, Berner said. Light-duty EV projections are expected to reach 65,000 in the next five years.

“So, we expect to have sufficient capacity to support that number of vehicles,” Berner said.





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