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The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded Hydrogen Frontier, Inc. a $3 million grant to build a new 100-percent renewable hydrogen fueling station for fuel cell electric vehicles.
The fueling station will be located at Hyundai’s hydrogen energy generation and fueling station in Chino, California.
The station, situated at a testing facility for Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc., will be located at the site of an existing hydrogen station originally constructed in 2005 to support Hyundai’s fuel cell vehicle fleet.
On top of the $3 million rebuilding project funded by the California Energy Commission grant, an additional $1.7 million funded by partners Hydrogen Frontier Inc., Powertech and ITM Power will go toward modernizing the facility to meet the latest industry standards for hydrogen generation, storage and dispensing.
In the case of this new station, 100 percent of the energy consumed in generation and operation of the station and 100 percent of the fuel dispensed will come from a renewable source, a new path of innovation and sustainability in California.
With this upgrade, the station will be able to produce at least 100 kilograms of hydrogen per day, enough to dispense approximately 6,000 to 9,000 vehicle fill-ups with hydrogen annually.
CEC said the required completion date for the renovations is October 2014, at which point the fueling station will open to the public for the first time. The facility will increase the existing hydrogen fueling network in California and will be the first publicly accessible hydrogen fueling station in San Bernardino County.
“Hyundai has been supporting governments, energy companies and other organizations globally to develop an easily accessible and affordable hydrogen infrastructure,” said Dr. Sung Hwan Cho, president, Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. “With world-class partners like Hydrogen Frontier and the support of the California government, we are expanding the hydrogen fueling infrastructure and taking one more step toward mass production of a fuel cell electric vehicle.”
Production of the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell began at the company’s Ulsan manufacturing plant in Korea in January 2013, making Hyundai the first automaker to begin commercial production of a hydrogen-powered vehicle.
The first complete car rolled off the assembly line on February 26, 2013.
Hyundai said it is investigating potential demand for the Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle in the U.S. market, particularly in California, where most of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure development has taken place.
“Hydrogen Frontier Inc. is excited to work with this innovative group of companies for this unique opportunity,” said Daniel Poppe, vice president, Hydrogen Frontier Inc. “This was our first hydrogen station in 2005 that we were asked to contribute to. Now, less than 10 years later, we get to do a complete comprehensive update of that same site.”
Hyundai has researched hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles in the United States since 2000. It is a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and has conducted fleet testing of three generations of SUV-based hydrogen vehicles across the United States.
According to Hyundai, the development of fueling stations, such as the Chino facility, is crucial to the success of fuel cells in the marketplace.
In California today, there are eight public stations, and 17 more are in development.
The goal is to have 68 stations in place to support the larger rollout of the vehicles in the next few years.