On April 21, the state of California and partners SunLine Transit Agency, New Flyer and Hydrogenics will celebrate the award of $12.5 million that will bring five fuel cell buses and a renewable hydrogen generating station to serve disadvantaged communities within the Coachella Valley.

According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the funding for these zero-emission buses and the clean hydrogen energy facility is from California Climate Investments, the state’s climate change-fighting cap-and-trade program.

The event, to be held at the SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, will include fuel cell bus ride-alongs and tours of the SunLine Learning Center to learn about hydrogen technology.

According to CARB, the five buses, to be manufactured by New Flyer, will run on SunLine’s regular revenue routes 91 and 95 daily from Indio to Mecca/Oasis, with more than 98% coverage in disadvantaged communities.

Specifically, Hydrogenics will upgrade an existing heavy-duty hydrogen station that will fuel the fleet’s fuel cell vehicles. Once complete, CARB says, it will be the largest fueling station in the U.S. of its kind, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.

CARB adds that the $12.5 million from California Climate Investments will be matched with another $5.2 million in cash and in-kind services, including $2.75 million from the Federal Transportation Administration.

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