Air Products Fuel and Gear for $1.6 Million Station in Canton
To Support a New Fleet of Ballard Fuel Cell, BAE Drive Buses
The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority and officials including Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor broke ground yesterday on a new hydrogen fueling facility in Canton, south of Akron. The facility will support a new fleet of seven zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses that are to commence operation on SARTA routes late this year and throughout 2017.
The fleet of ElDorado National Axess buses with Ballard hydrogen fuel cell stacks and electric drivelines by BAE Systems “will be the largest in the United States operating outside the state of California,” SARTA says.
Plans for the Ohio hydrogen bus fleet were made public early last year (F&F, February 10, 2015).
State and Federal Funding for Station and Buses
Construction of the $1.6 million fueling facility, which is being funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation, marks the first visible step in the authority’s concerted effort to “use the energy of tomorrow to fuel SARTA today,” SARTA executive director Kirt Conrad said in a release.
The Ohio funding, combined with grants from the Federal Transit Administration to buy the buses, “places us on the leading edge of utilizing and commercializing this innovative, zero-emission technology,” he said.
Conrad noted that SARTA has embraced fuel cells for a number of reasons: “Along with enabling us to increase our fuel mileage as much as 50% in the years ahead and maintain our position as a leader in the use of green technology to fuel public transit, this project will drive investment, business creation and job growth in Ohio.”
Liquid hydrogen will be trucked to the site and dispensed by Air Products, he told F&F. The buses have 5,000-psi/350 bar hydrogen fuel systems.
“Innovative projects like this help diversify our economy and put Ohio on the map as a leader in alternative energy,” Lt. Governor Taylor says in the SARTA groundbreaking announcement.
CNG Too at Canton
Conrad said that Ohio-based companies and universities including Stark State, Ohio State University and Cleveland State, “are heavily involved and invested in fuel cell-related R&D projects.”
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Source: SARTA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up