ACT Expo 2018

SunLine H2 Buses, Hydrogenics H2

April 21, 2017 in Electric Drive, event, Fleet Order, fuel cells, Hydrogen, Infrastructure, milestones, money awarded, transit by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$12.5 Million for Five Hydrogen Fuel Cell New Flyers
With Hydrogenics Stacks and Hydrogen Supply Gear

Timed for Earth Day tomorrow, SunLine Transit Agency is today celebrating the award of a $12.5 million California Climate Investments grant for five zero-emission, New Flyer transit buses, with onboard fuel cell stacks and new renewable hydrogen generating and dispensing gear from Hydrogenics.

SunLine Transit is to operate and gather data on five New Flyer buses fitted with ‘CelerityPlus’ fuel cells stacks from Hydrogenics. The Canadian company is also supplying a new PEM electrolyzer and related equipment for onsite renewable hydrogen generation and dispensing.

It will be “the largest hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. of its kind,” says the California Air Resources Board, “using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.”

“This project represents an important step toward commercializing both heavy-duty zero-emission fuel cell vehicles and clean, renewable hydrogen fuel,” CARB chair Mary Nichols says in a release.

Celerity hydrogen fuel cell stack by Hydrogenics

‘Part of a Comprehensive Portfolio’

“Fuel cell vehicles are part of a comprehensive portfolio needed to achieve California’s long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals,” she said. “This project furthers this technology advancement while providing much needed air quality benefits to communities in the Coachella Valley.”

Hydrogenics will supply SunLine with five CelerityPlus fuel cell power modules to be integrated into New Flyer buses. The Canadian company will also upgrade SunLine’s hydrogen fueling station with a new, 1.5-megawatt PEM/proton exchange membrane electrolyzer for onsite hydrogen fuel generation – “making it the largest renewable hydrogen fueling facility in the United States.

Vertical Integration

“The station will produce up to 400 kilograms of hydrogen daily and be capable of fueling 15 buses per day,” Hydrogenics says.

Hydrogenics is “the only hydrogen technology company that can offer both fuel cell power systems and clean onsite hydrogen generation,” president and CEO Daryl Wilson said in his company’s announcement this morning. “SunLine has been at the forefront of clean energy transportation in the region,” he said.

A megawatt proton exchange membrane electrolyser by Hydrogenics

Hydrogenics notes too that “This is the first bundled hydrogen fleet and fuel project secured by a transit agency where funding has been received for both the heavy duty fuel cells and infrastructure for onsite renewable hydrogen generation supplied by the same technology provider.

Years in Gestation

“Successful deployment of this project will help remove barriers due to lack of hydrogen infrastructure and accelerate mass adoption of fuel cell buses within the transit industry.”

SunLine is to operate the buses daily on two regular routes from Indio to Mecca/Oasis that provide a 98% coverage of disadvantaged communities. The agency and partners will collect 12 months of performance data to be used to help further commercialization of fuel cell technology.

The California Energy Commission previously funded demonstration of a New Flyer XE40 Xcelsior electric transit bus with a 60-kilowatt Hydrogenics CelerityPlus fuel cell (F&F, August 18, 2015).

Scheduled speakers at this morning’s project kick-off event, slated for 11:00am Pacific time at SunLine headquarters in Thousand Palms, include

  • California State Senator Jeff Stone;
  • Assemblyman and California Air Resources Board member Eduardo Garcia;
  • California Air Resources Board member Barbara Riordan;
  • SunLine Transit Agency Board chair Russell Betts;
  • SunLine Transit Agency CEO/general manager Lauren Skiver;
  • Hydrogenics director of fuel cell power systems and hydrogen infrastructure Rob Del Core; and
  • New Flyer sustainable transportation director David Warren.

Hydrogenics will produce the hydrogen fuel for SunLine’s new zero-emission buses, and provide dispensing equipment as well. A Hydrogenics-branded hydrogen outlet in Ontario is shown here.

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Sources include CARB, Hydrogenics and SunLine Transit with F&F follow-up

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