Two hydrogen-refuelling stations on the horizon for Edmonton

· The Pulse

Both the City of Edmonton and Air Products announced plans for hydrogen-refuelling stations during the second annual Canadian Hydrogen Convention, increasing the infrastructure necessary to make the use of the fuel practical.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi told conference-goers on April 25 that a request for proposals for a hydrogen station at the city's bus garage would open on April 28 through the Alberta Purchasing Connection.

"Industry leaders take note of this opportunity," Sohi said on the conference's opening day. "The city's first hydrogen-fuelling station represents a key milestone in advancing the Edmonton region's clean-hydrogen economy."

Later in the day, Eric Guter of Air Products announced his company's own plans for a station, expected to be complete by early 2025.

"I'm here to announce that we're going to install the first multimodal hydrogen-refuelling station in Edmonton," said Guter, who is the company's global vice-president of hydrogen for mobility. "(It) can support light-duty and heavy-duty off-take, (and is the) first liquid and commercial-scale fuelling station here in Edmonton."

Such infrastructure will be needed if the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge succeeds. The initiative, which Edmonton Global floated last fall, was officially launched at the convention.

"Our collective goal is to have 5,000 hydrogen- or dual-fuel vehicles on the road in Western Canada within the next five years," said Alanna Hnatiw, chair of the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB and mayor of Sturgeon County. "To meet Canada's net-zero targets, we need 30,000 hydrogen-fuel vehicles on the road by 2035."

A crowd of people on stage at the Canadian Hydrogen Convention as Alanna Hnatiw of the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub makes and announcement

Alanna Hnatiw, chair of the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB, announces the official launch of the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge at the Canadian Hydrogen Convention on April 25, 2023. (LinkedIn)

The Air Products refuelling station will be built next to the $1.6 billion net-zero hydrogen facility the company is building in northeast Edmonton, and it will be available to retail customers as well as municipal trucks and Air Products' own fleet. It is supported in part by $1 million in federal funding from the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, the company said in a news release.

The station is expected to have the capacity to dispense up to six tonnes of hydrogen per day, with a fill time comparable to that of conventionally fuelled heavy-duty trucks.

While the timing hasn't been finalized for the city's refuelling station, the hope is for the facility to open in about two years. That timing aligns with the pilot period for Edmonton's previously announced hydrogen-powered bus, which will be ready to roll out this summer, Sohi said.

The fuelling station will be built into the existing Centennial Garage in southwest Edmonton.

"On one side of the fence, it will fuel the transit buses," said Eddie Robar, branch manager of fleet and facility services for the City of Edmonton. "On the other side of the fence, we'll have it available to (the) public, so they don't have that infrastructure-burden cost."

The Canadian Hydrogen Conference continues at the Edmonton Convention Centre through April 27. Edmonton Global's next livestream of conversations from the conference floor starts at 10am on April 26.