Toyota Motor North America Inc. has announced plans to build what it claims will be world’s first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with a hydrogen fueling station to support its operations at the Port of Long Beach, Calif. Announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Tri-Gen facility will use bio-waste sourced from California agricultural waste to generate water, electricity and hydrogen.
When it comes online in 2020, Tri-Gen will generate approximately 2.35 MW of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen per day, enough to power the equivalent of about 2,350 average-sized homes and meet the daily driving needs of nearly 1,500 vehicles, according to Toyota. The power generation facility will be 100% renewable, supplying Toyota Logistics Services’ (TLS) operations at the port and making them the first Toyota facility in North America to use 100% renewable power.
“For more than 20 years, Toyota has been leading the development of fuel cell technology because we understand the tremendous potential to reduce emissions and improve society,” says Doug Murtha, group vice president of strategic planning. “Tri-Gen is a major step forward for sustainable mobility and a key accomplishment of our 2050 Environmental Challenge to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from our operations.”
According to Toyota, Tri-Gen is a key step forward in the company’s work to develop what it calls a “hydrogen society.” In addition to serving as a proof-of-concept for 100% renewable, local hydrogen generation at scale, the facility will supply all Toyota fuel cell vehicles moving through the port, including new deliveries of the Mirai sedan and Toyota’s heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell Class 8 truck, known as Project Portal. To support these refueling operations, Toyota says it has also built one of the largest hydrogen fueling stations in the world on-site with the help of Air Liquide.
Tri-Gen has been developed by FuelCell Energy with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Orange County Sanitation District, and University of California at Irvine, whose research helped develop the core technology. Toyota says the facility exceeds California’s strict air quality standards and advances the overall goals of the state agencies, which have been leaders in the work to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
Going forward, Toyota remains committed to supporting the development of a consumer- facing hydrogen infrastructure to realize the potential of fuel cell vehicles. According to the company, 31 retail hydrogen stations are now open for business in California, and Toyota continues to partner with a broad range of companies to develop new stations. That includes a partnership with Shell that represents one of the first such collaborations between a major automotive maker and major oil company.