Hydra’s innovative refueling station in Prince George will be operational in early 2024
Hydra Energy has now begun building the world’s largest hydrogen refueling station in Prince George that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the heavy truck industry.
This is the first project in the company’s Western Canadian Hydrogen Corridor that will serve heavy trucks in British Columbia and Alberta that have been converted to run on both hydrogen and diesel using Hydra’s no-cost co-combustion conversion kits.
“We recognize that part of the response to climate change is to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions whenever and wherever possible. Hydra Energy announced last fall that it has a technology system to fuel commercial delivery trucks with hydrogen fuel that has reduced emissions by 40 percent,” Lheidli T’enneh President Dolleen Logan said during the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Now that Prince George is home to the largest hydrogen refueling station in the world, that is exactly the emission reduction trend our members can support.”
The new Prince George refueling and hydrogen production plant at Hydra will be located on five acres on Sench Road, and will produce 3,250 kilograms of hydrogen per day and can refuel as quickly as diesel and up to 24 converted trucks per hour across four bays.
Low-carbon hydrogen is produced on-site from on-site 5-megawatt electrolyzers with electricity coming from BC Hydro, British Columbia’s main electricity utility with 31 hydroelectric facilities across the province.
It is difficult to remove carbon from heavy trucks
“The upcoming plant is profitable and reduces emissions while helping us produce energy in our backyards,” said Hydra Energy CEO Jessica Verhagen, noting that the Prince George area is an ideal place to demonstrate hydrogen conversion technology due to the cold weather, challenging terrain and heavy loads common in the area. .
“It’s not uncommon for other alternative cars at the moment to be able to get to that level of cold weather and the other benefit is the weight, so if you’re using a battery for example it weighs a bit more than our hydrogen kit and put it on the back of the truck.” This reduces truckloads,” Verhagen explains.
These are some of the benefits we see in the short term. Of course, in the long run, all solutions to the big problems are needed but I think Hydra is part of that solution.”
Arlene Janney, CEO of trucking company Lodgewood Enterprises and Diamond Mechanical is the owner of the first hydrogen combustion truck, speaking in an editorial about her adoption of this technology.
“I am excited to see the progress being made to supply both hydrogen and diesel at the same site. This would be awesome and huge. Refueling time is now less than 10 minutes on these trucks, and drivers will not have to go to two separate locations to get fuel,” Jani said.
“I’m looking forward to implementing a program that will see more trucks like my country, and that fuel is here and becomes part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gases.”
Bruce Ralston, British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Low Carbon Innovation, said Hydra continues to penetrate heavy trucks, which are the toughest sector to decarbonise.
They account for just over one for every more than 1 percent of vehicles on Canadian roads but 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Hydrogen captures the imagination of a lot of people in the world at this time, because when you burn hydrogen, in the right conditions, there are no emissions,” Ralston said.
The challenge, he said, is to produce the hydrogen and bring it to market so it can be commercialized.
“So this project is very exciting because it focuses on trucking in the local industry by significantly reducing emissions. It will be profitable, and it won’t involve any capital expenditures for trucking companies, so they can get in without having to pay a huge chunk of money,” Ralston said. “.
He noted that Hydra’s technology also eliminates range anxiety by being able to seamlessly switch between hydrogen and diesel fuels depending on the job and region they’re working in.
“So you don’t have that worry about running out and leaving your truck somewhere high and dry, say West Smithers or something.”
Prince George to be the hydrogen center of the future
“I think all the elements are here for Prince George to be a real pioneer in hydrogen as a hydrogen hub going forward. I think it’s very exciting news for Prince George and the region and really exciting news for British Columbia,” Ralston said.
Mayor Prince George Lynn Hall also indicated that a hydrogen refueling station would bring the city.
“It’s really a step forward for the City of Prince George, it really gives us an opportunity over the coming years to deliver on our reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and that’s an important part of us,” said Hall.
“It really puts us on the world map, there’s no doubt about it. And my view is that it reinforces the fact that we are the northern capital of British Columbia. You can look at the resource sector that we have around us that is really thriving at this point in time, and I have no doubt that it will continue to to do that “.
Yemi Adefulu, executive director of the BC Center for Clean Energy Innovation, which funds innovative clean energy solutions, said Hydra was one of the first projects the center funded.
“When you think about diesel today, and the ability to sort of transition, you need to be able to ensure that we can decarbonize that without waiting for all the infrastructure to be in place for us,” Adevlo said.
“Hydro provides a solution that is a solution today where they can, because of co-combustion, have the ability to reduce the amount of diesel usage and replace that with clean hydrogen, and if they do that, we really start taking the trucks onto the road and making sure those trucks are cleaner than they are now.” .
Prince George’s station in Hydra will be operational in early 2024.