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Clean Energy Perspectives

Confirmed: Toyota to Show Fuel Cell Vehicle in January at CES

August 30, 2013
Confirmed: Toyota to Show Fuel Cell Vehicle in January at CES  Toyota confirmed today that it will roll out its first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle next January at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The not-yet-named sedan will include a hydrogen fuel cell stack that promises 3kw per liter of power density – in layman’s terms, that’s double the current Highlander fuel cell vehicle. The Toyota FCV-R concept is shown below with the Toyota Highlander fuel cell vehicle. At the Frankfurt Motor Show next month, we expect to hear more about the automaker’s latest improvements to fuel cell technology.

2015 Toyota FCV R Concept profile 300x187 image

Satoshi Ogiso, Toyota’s managing officer and considered the guru of the Prius, announced the new fuel cell’s arrival at the Toyota Hybrid World Tour, a three-day global media event discussing Toyota’s past and future hybrid vehicles. Ogiso also said the next-generation Prius will offer a new gas engine that will have a 40-percent improvement in thermal efficiency.

Later this year at the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota will debut a new FCV-R fuel cell concept that will be a midsize sedan concept, which is the next step in the evolving technology. Toyota promises to reveal more details about that car’s performance when it is revealed.

Unlike traditional gas-electric hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells are emissions-free electric vehicles that generate power from compressed hydrogen. Though that transition could still take decades, and it’s not to suggest Toyota has given up on hybrids.

“There has been debate on if hybrid technology a bridge,” said Ed Larocque, national brand manager, advanced technology vehicles. “If it is a bridge, it is a very long bridge.”

Since launchingthe Prius in Japan in 1997 and bringing it to the U.S. in 2001, Toyota has since added 22 more hybrid nameplates in its worldwide lineup under its Toyota or Lexus brands. Worldwide, Toyota has sold 5 million hybrids.

“Over the past 5 years, the percentage of hybrid sales at Toyota has grown from 10 to 16 percent of our total sales mix,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president automotive operations, Toyota Motor Sales USA. Expect more news on the Toyota fuel cell vehicle with a price at or below $50,000 as we get closer to the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The Hybrid World Tour continues for two more days in Ann Arbor.


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Opinion: There’s more than hot air in hydrogen

August 26, 2013
Opinion: There’s more than hot air in hydrogen

B.C. is a world leader in fuel cell technology and automakers are taking notice

The new Burnaby Mercedes Benz automated fuel cell manufacturing plant.

A series of major new developments in the Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell sector create a real opportunity for Canada to stay at the international forefront of this rapidly developing clean energy industry.

Navigant Research recently released data showing worldwide fuel cell sales for the first time exceeded $1 billion in 2012, and more than 28,000 fuel cells were shipped.

Canada, long a leader in fuel cell technology, has scored major victories in the past two years, and is positioned for more.

Hydrogenics, an Ontario-based leader in fuel cell and hydrogen-related technologies, recently signed its largest contract ever, a $90 million fuel cell propulsion order.

The company has won the majority of new contracts led by the world’s largest consumer-owned utility, E.On of Germany, to take off-peak surplus wind energy and convert it to hydrogen, then inject it into gas lines — an ingenious solution to wind overcapacity in non-peak hours, and an ingenious storage solution utilizing existing gas line infrastructure — new power with no new transmission lines.

B.C.-based Ballard Power Systems recently signed a deal with Volkswagen, worth up to $100 million, to help it develop new fuel cell vehicles. And Ballard has recently scored victories in China, selling fuel cells for backup power to China Mobile for their telecom towers, and attracting equity investment from the Chinese firm Azure, into a Ballard subsidiary.

Azure also recently placed an order with Ballard for a 175 kilowatt ClearGenTM distributed generation system that it plans to deploy in China. And Azure has invested an initial $1 million as a part of a new program to develop the Chinese fuel cell bus market with Ballard. Already, by the end of this year, 40 Ballard fuel cell-powered buses will be in operation around the world, including 10 new buses going into Aberdeen, Scotland.

BIC, the lighter folks, recently purchased Angstrom Power in Vancouver, and is ramping up its interest in fuel cell production for mobile applications; Atlantic Hydrogen is launching a plant to create hydrogen at a cost comparable with gas and has attracted partners like Emera; Western Hydrogen in Calgary is pursuing large-scale hydrogen production with new technologies.

And a real jewel in the Vancouver area is the world’s first automated fuel cell manufacturing plant, opened recently by Mercedes-Benz Canada at a cost in excess of $70 million, with state-of-the-art, custom designed robotics. The plant currently manufactures fuel cells in Canada that are shipped back to Germany to be included in Mercedes-Benz’s new F-Cell cars available in 2015.

The decision for the auto-giant to locate its plant in Burnaby, over Europe, Detroit or California, was a strategic one to capitalize on Greater Vancouver’s fuel cell cluster and the required infrastructure available here for such a facility. That’s right, Canada has such strong intellectual and manufacturing capabilities in fuel cells that Germany came here to establish their first plant and will ship the product back to Stuttgart to put in their cars.

Think they’re crazy? Well, Nissan and Ford both recently joined their investment in Vancouver, and Nissan now has nearly 30 engineers and manufacturing experts joining the existing 50 Mercedes hired for the plant.

All in all, between the new plant, an existing venture called AFCC (Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation) and Ballard, there are more than 600 jobs in the Burnaby area alone working on fuel cell automotive research, development and commercialization.

You’d be surprised to know that the largest Canadian automotive research centre isn’t in Oshawa or Windsor — it’s in British Columbia.

These new ventures bring world-class manufacturing, supply chain and technical expertise to Western Canada that we simply haven’t had before.

B.C. has the world’s longest standing and most innovative fuel cell cluster, the world’s largest zero emission bus fleet and a proud history of clean energy innovation in Canada.

New advances, like Hydrogenics’ successes in taking off-peak wind and converting it to energy to be stored and moved through the gas grid, have promise in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., and we are world leaders in the technology internationally.

With more than $200 million a year in revenues, and nearly 2,000 clean, high paying and innovative jobs in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector in Canada, recent developments promise incremental growth, particularly as major automakers start their launch of fuel cell vehicles — with Hyundai starting production of their first 1,000 this year and Toyota’s Chairman (designer of the Prius) firmly committed to a 2015 model-year launch of commercial fuel cell vehicles.

Eric Denhoff is President & CEO of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.

 

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Ballard Signs Supply Agreement With Azure Hydrogen For Backup Power Systems in China

July 30, 2013
Ballard Signs Supply Agreement With Azure Hydrogen For Backup Power Systems in China

VANCOUVER, CANADA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) today announced that it has signed an Equipment Supply Agreement (ESA) with Azure Hydrogen (Azure), Ballard’s partner in China, for the supply of 220 ElectraGenTM Telecom Backup Power fuel cell systems to be deployed in Chinese telecom networks.

The agreement includes 120 direct hydrogen ElectraGenTM-H2 systems as well as 100 methanol fuelled ElectraGenTM-ME systems. All systems covered by the agreement are expected to be delivered to Azure in Q3 and Q4 of 2013.

Ballard’s portfolio of highly reliable Telecom Backup Power fuel cell systems provides more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions for extended duration runtime applications than the alternatives of lead-acid batteries and diesel generators.

About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visitwww.ballard.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements concerning anticipated shipments, product attributes and corresponding value propositions for our customers. These forward-looking statements reflect Ballard’s current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any such forward-looking statements are based on Ballard’s assumptions relating to its financial forecasts and expectations regarding its product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand.

These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Ballard’s actual results to be materially different, including general economic and regulatory changes, detrimental reliance on third parties, successfully achieving our business plans and achieving and sustaining profitability. For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors that could affect Ballard’s future performance, please refer to Ballard’s most recent Annual Information Form. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard’s forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward looking statements, other than as required under applicable legislation.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. The Ballard Common Shares have not been registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.

Further Information:
Guy McAree
+1.604.412.7919,
media@ballard.com
or investors@ballard.com

 

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Greenlight Successfully Delivers Electrolyser Test Stations to German Research Facility

July 22, 2013
Greenlight Successfully Delivers Electrolyser Test Stations to German Research Facility

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, July 19, 2013 – Greenlight Innovation Corporation announced today the successful completion and delivery of three electrolyser test stations commissioned by the Forschungszentrum Jülich energy research center in Jülich Germany. The Greenlight test stations are critical tools for the development and durability testing of Jülich’s advanced electrolyser technology.

FZ Jülich is developing PEM electrolysis technology for hydrogen gas production. The research facility required automated test rigs to prove their design concepts and selected Greenlight based on their experience, reputation and history of strong customer service.

“Greenlight Innovation is pleased to continue their relationship with the Forschungszentrum Jülich research center. The selection of two E100 and one E500 electrolyser test stations by a premier German research facility is a testament to Greenlight’s continuing leadership in the area of electrolyser testing equipment,” said Ross Bailey, Greenlight President and CEO.

The Greenlight electrolyser test rigs are designed to continuously operate under dynamic conditions, completely unattended by an operator. Greenlight’s advanced control software allows automated cycling of the test articles, simulating the conditions that would be experienced if the electrolyser were attached to a wind or solar farm.

H2 electrolysis technologies are a critical piece of the hydrogen economy. In the near term, electrolysers can be used to store energy in the form of h2, while addressing the intermittent nature of renewables such as wind and solar. During off peak times, when solar and wind farms are producing excess energy, the electricity can be put through an electrolyser to make hydrogen, which can either be directly injected into the natural gas grid, or stored for later use in a fuel cell.

 

About Greenlight Innovation Corporation

For over two decades Greenlight Innovation has been recognized as an industry leader in the manufacture and design of fuel cell, electrolyzer and battery pack test equipment. Greenlight’s customer base includes automotive OEMs, chemical suppliers, consumer electronics companies, energy companies and a variety of leading universities and government research labs. These companies and institutions rely on Greenlight laboratory software and test equipment to provide accurate data for their R&D programs. Greenlight is headquartered in North America and operates globally, through a network of regional sales and service representatives.
For additional information, please contact:

Greig Walsh
Director of Sales and Marketing, Greenlight Innovation
Phone: +1.604.676.4038 Fax: +1.604.676.4111
Address: 104A – 3430 Brighton Avenue, Burnaby, BC, V5A 3H4
Web: www.greenlightinnovation.com
Email: gwalsh@greenlightinnovation.com

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Event Report from Fuel Cell Today: Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2013

July 10, 2013
Event Report from Fuel Cell Today: Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2013

Vancouver 2013

The biennial conference Hydrogen + Fuel Cells, organised by the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA), was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre in June 2013 and comprised a trade fair and exhibition running concurrently with a number of thematic parallel speaker sessions. This year’s conference theme of ‘power, transportation & energy storage: an industry on the move’ alludes to the impending commercial rollout of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), the increasing prominence of the concept of using hydrogen as an energy storage mechanism to support electricity grids, and the ongoing commercialisation of the fuel cell and hydrogen industry as a whole.

British Columbia’s Minister of Environment, Mary Polak, opened the conference and welcomed delegates to the event. Minister Polak used her opening speech to say she believes we no longer have to choose between economic and environmental options – we can now have both, with fuel cells and hydrogen technologies beginning to compete on cost with incumbents. The Government of British Columbia believes the future is bright in this sector, but it will take stamina, belief and pride for it to stay on course to reach its goals.


Opening plenary

The opening plenary shared the same overarching conference theme and began with Daryl Wilson, CEO of Hydrogenics and Chair of the CHFCA, presenting an overview of his company’s latest power-to-gas developments. Power-to-gas (P2G), the energy storage principle of converting excess electricity into usable and storable hydrogen or methane gas via water electrolysis, can add flexibility to electricity grids, avoid energy wastage and provide true financial benefits to operators.

With electricity generally created on-demand, the electricity grid has no inherent storage capacity and this causes problems with an increasing penetration of renewables. Renewables are variable in nature – their outputs are controlled by natural forces and can only be constrained by grid operators. Above a 10% penetration of renewables begins to cause serious stability issues for electricity networks and it is at this level that Wilson believes electricity grid operators will become seriously interested in viable, large-scale storage solutions. Energy storage helps eliminate waste, both of energy and of investment in assets. Asset utilisation for renewables is far below that of conventional systems and full potential cannot be realised until suitable storage mechanisms are in place.

Wilson likens power-to-gas to a shock absorber for the electricity grid, providing dynamic response and the necessary capacity to cope with the variability in output of renewable electricity sources. Four main functions were identified: firstly, P2G has fast load following capability; secondly, P2G is flexible in terms of scale and location; thirdly, the capacity exists in the gas grid for energy storage on a seasonal scale; finally, P2G can turn renewables into dispatchable power plants, helping to maintain a balanced electricity grid. In terms of cost, Wilson proposes that capital expenditure for a 32 MW P2G plant would be in the region of $35 million.

Hydrogenics and partner E.ON are currently commissioning a 2 MW power-to-gas demonstration plant close to a windfarm in Falkenhagen; the plant recently successfully injected hydrogen into the gas grid for the first time. Of a total of nineteen P2G projects in Germany, Hydrogenics is involved in seven. At a technology level, Hydrogenics is in the process of engineering much larger plants, at the scale of 40 MW and beyond.

Air Liquide’s Canadian Manager of Onsites & Hydrogen Energy, Bruno Forget, used his plenary slot to move the discussion onto transportation, both automotive and materials handling vehicles (MHV). Forget explained Air Liquide’s new approach of creating global business hubs in key regions to tailor available technologies for localised needs; current hubs are in Paris, Frankfurt, Houston and Shanghai. Fuel cell bus deployment is one area in particular that Air Liquide would like to support with this more localised approach. The company also continues to actively target the European MHV market with its HyPulsion joint venture with Plug Power. This is the first in what Air Liquide hopes will be several partnerships with specific technology companies to leverage fuel cell and hydrogen opportunities.

Hyundai Begins Assembly Line Production of Fuel Cell Vehicles


Moving on to FCEV, Hyundai’s Byung-Ki Ahn closed the first plenary with a history of his company’s activities in fuel cell technology. Hyundai began development of fuel cell stacks in 2004 and now boasts durability of more than 200,000 km in vehicular tests. Its various development FCEV have undergone rigorous fire and impact testing, as a conventional vehicle would.

From 2006 and up until 2011, Hyundai had focussed on domestic deployment, putting 30 SUVs and four buses on the road in Korea. Between 2010 and 2013 it then demonstrated 100 FCEV in the Seoul and Ulsan areas. International demonstrations of its ix35 FCEV began in early 2011 and early commercial production of the vehicle began in early 2013 – up to 1,000 vehicles will be manufactured for lease between now and 2015. Scandinavia is a key early market and Hyundai has recently shipped fifteen vehicles to Denmark and two to Sweden. Ahn believes a 20–30% price premium above conventional vehicles is the most consumers will be happy to pay for an early FCEV.


International initiatives

South Africa

Tristan Clark of Anglo American Platinum (AAP) introduced his company’s plans to support the development of a methanol-powered fuel cell for use in rural African residences to form local mini-grids. AAP is working with Ballard to develop the systems and is hoping to have four on the ground in field trials from 2014. If these trials prove successful then hundreds of units could be deployed in 2015 as part of larger market trials. Full commercialisation could then deploy more than 7,000 units from 2016 with the possibility of developing the technology for export to other markets after 2018. The tipping point for economic viability of these systems is supplying power to residences more than 14 km from the electricity grid.

Mandy Mtyelwa, deputy Director for Hydrogen and Energy at the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) introduced the work of HySA, which comprises three centres of competence (CoC) developing home-growth hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The South African Government has identified hydrogen and fuel cell technology as having the potential to move the country from being a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. HySA has been created to try and fulfil a DST target to produce 25% of the world’s fuel cell catalysts by 2020. The three CoCs are focused on catalysis, systems, and infrastructure, and each involves strategic partners both locally and internationally. This R&D capability has been setup between 2008 and 2013 and the HySA project is now entering a technology demonstration and validation phase which will run until 2018. The government hopes that commercialisation of South African innovation in the field will commence from 2018 onwards. The government has spent a total of ZAR 450 million ($49.5 million) since the start of the project and has a budget of ZAR 74.8 million ($8.2 million) for FY 2013/2014.

Scandinavia

Jón Björn Skúlason, from Icelandic New Energy, provided an overview of activities to date in his country. Iceland’s first hydrogen refuelling station opened in 2003 and between 2008 and 2011 up to 30 fuel cell vehicles were in operation on the island. The Icelandic government had a goal to establish the country as the ‘green valley of Europe’, but the impact of the global financial crisis has meant that this plan has not been realised. However, the unique nature of Iceland’s location and its 100% sales tax relief for zero-emission vehicles means it is likely to be a good early market for FCEV. Hydrogen carries no fuel tax (just VAT of 25.5%) and can be cost-competitive with conventional fuels at $13/kg. The vehicles can also compete on cost, even at up to twice the cost of a conventional vehicle, thanks to stringent excise duty and road taxation, both of which steadily increase in line with vehicular g CO2/km. Skúlason added that analysis has shown that nine hydrogen refuelling stations would initially be sufficient to cover the majority of the country’s population.

Continuing the Scandinavian theme, Bjørn Simonsen, Secretary General for the Norwegian Hydrogen Forum, discussed the latest Norwegian developments. The country has already embraced electric vehicle technology and has a range of tax incentives in place to encourage adoption. Zero-emission vehicles pay only 10% of the road tax conventional vehicles do and are exempt from purchase tax, which typically doubles the price of vehicles in the country. For this reason, and similarly to Iceland, cost reduction for new zero-emission vehicle technologies is less of a barrier to market penetration than in other European countries. There are around 2.5 million vehicles registered in Norway and approximately 3.8% of all new car sales are now battery electric vehicles (BEV). Norway needs to reach 35% ZEV sales penetration by 2020 in order to meet its vehicle emissions target of 85g CO2/km. Further benefits for ZEV include free public parking, free ferry trips on public routes, the use of public transport lanes and a 50% value reduction before tax when used as company cars.

Six hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) are operating in the country, with local governments supporting and assisting with funding. HYOP is an independent company formed in 2012 by stakeholders in the Lillestrøm region to save the HRS constructed by state oil and gas company Statoil when it ended its involvement in hydrogen vehicle fuelling. HYOP’s aim is to drive the nationwide development and operation of hydrogen infrastructure in Norway from the demonstration phase through to commercialisation. Ulf Hafseld, CEO of HYOP, believes that a market of 10,000 vehicles would require fifteen to twenty HRS and that generating fuel for these stations using electrolysis driven by the country’s vast hydropower potential is a logical decision. Producing fuel for the same proposed fleet of 10,000 vehicles would use just 0.05% of the country’s 145 TWh of hydropower production; for a fleet of one million vehicles it would be 5%.

Germany – Cologne

The city of Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest and is home to more than one million people, 500,000 cars and 10,000 buses. The HyCologne project is a platform for the initiation of hydrogen and fuel cell projects within the wider Cologne area, which is well-suited to such applications thanks to an abundance of hydrogen available as by-product from the industrial processes that are popular in the region. Public transport is popular in the city and fuel cell buses, although more expensive, are easier to obtain than demonstration FCEV, claims Boris Jermer, HyCologne’s Project Manager; Cologne is home to a number of distinctive bendy fuel cell buses deployed under Phase 0 of the European CHIC project and a further two are expected to be delivered in 1Q 2014. Jermer says that buses present a better value proposition to station builders and gas suppliers, as one of the buses in operation in Cologne will use 25 kg H2/day – equivalent to roughly 75 FCEV refuellings.

Automotive developments

The conference’s dedicated automotive plenary opened with Daimler’s Andreas Truckenbrodt discussing his company’s history in the development of FCEV. It has taken the company nineteen years since launching its first prototype, the NECAR 1, to the launch of its current B-Class F-CELL pre-commercial demonstration vehicle – in the context of the global automotive industry this is swift progress and testament to the faith automakers have in the technology. Daimler is pursuing four routes on its cost reduction pathway: economies of scale; high volume manufacturing; industrialisation and supplier development; and technological advancement. The company expects advancements in all of these areas will allow for an affordable mass-market FCEV by 2017. Defining the term ‘mass-market’, Truckenbrodt said this equated to volumes of 100,000 vehicles over the product lifecycle.

Dr Andrea Sudik, Manager of Fuel Cell Stack Component Research at Ford Motor Company, reinforced the need for zero emission vehicles by reminding the audience that 20% of US CO2 emissions originate from the light duty vehicle sector. The mentality of consumers is changing: a survey conducted in 2011 found that 64% of consumers believe fuel economy is an important consideration when purchasing a vehicle, compared to previous results of only 44% in 2002. There is also an increasing trend for consumers to downsize purchases from the historically popular full-size pickups to smaller vehicles. Ford is collaborating with Daimler and Nissan at the Automotive Fuel Cell Collaboration (AFCC) but has no immediate-term plans to launch a commercial vehicle, unlike its partners. The company’s sustainability roadmap sees first the further advancement of efficient internal combustion engines and hybrids, followed by further electrification and lightweighting, and then fuel cell drivetrains. Ford’s development of fuel cell technology dates back to 1999, with its most substantive output to date being the field demonstration of 30 Ford Focus FCEV. Funded by the US DOE, the vehicles were deployed from 2005 onwards across the USA and Canada, Iceland and Germany. Long outliving the original programme, many of the vehicles remain in use today with some in continuous service for eight years; combined, the fleet has accrued more than 1.3 million miles on the road.

Toyota’s Matt McLory reiterated his company’s plans to launch an FCEV from 2015, but underscored the challenges that remain in terms of cost, weight reduction and durability. Challenges aside, progress has been impressive: the company has reduced the total cost for its FCEV to 1/10th of that of its 2008 FCHV-adv demonstration vehicle and is aiming to further reduce the cost, to 1/20th of the FCHV-adv, by launch. On top of the cost reductions, Toyota has also doubled stack power density and the fuel cell is now small enough to go under the seats of the car; furthermore, the number of hydrogen tanks has been reduced from four to two, reclaiming boot space. Range for the company’s latest pre-commercial demonstrator, the 2012 FCV-R, is 434 miles under the JC08 drive cycle.

Like Daimler, Toyota will implement a multi-faceted approach to reduce costs including component reduction, the use of mass-produced parts, a reduction in material cost and improved production methods including automation and high-speed production. Toyota will launch FCEV in its domestic market of Japan first and is monitoring other regions to evaluate their levels of hydrogen infrastructure development.

Steve Ellis from Honda wrapped up the plenary by stating there is no silver bullet to achieving the emissions reduction targets set by his industry, but that a portfolio approach was necessary. In his opinion there is no question that vehicular electrification is needed in order to reach 2050 emissions targets. Despite this, consumers still want a gasoline-like retail experience and this is an area where hydrogen is advantageous, offering short refuelling times and long driving ranges.

Honda is developing a home hydrogen refuelling station which incorporates solar PV, allowing for totally zero-emission and independent driving. The company is also developing a vehicle-to-home power inverter system for emergency use. Using the system, which is small enough to be stored in the boot of an FCX Clarity, 9 kW of electricity could be provided for a period of six days if required. The system is currently being field trialled at a home in Kitakyushu, Japan.

The FCX Clarity is famous for its high-profile consumer lease programme in California and the state has been at the forefront of FCEV adoption for decades. The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) is an OEM-backed outreach project established in 1999 to promote the commercialisation of FCEV in California and coordinate the development of supporting infrastructure. Catherine Dunwoody, CaFCP’s Executive Director, announced that funding has recently been secured for seven new HRS in the state to add to the nine existing ones; if everything goes to plan there should be more than 25 operational by the end of 2014. Government legislation to support the construction of HRS in California is currently under review. SB 11 would see $20 million a year allocated to HRS in FY 13/14, FY 14/15 and FY 15/16, and up to $20 million a year available until 2024, although Dunwoody states that funding would end after 100 stations. This level of governmental support for HRS is groundbreaking and the Senate Bill will be passed or declined in September.

The CaFCP is currently preparing a ‘hydrogen network investment plan’, which will be out later in the year and is a follow-on from the organisation’s 2012 document ‘A California Road Map’, which contains strategy for infrastructure build-up and recommends an initial spread of 68 HRS in strategic locations to cater for the early introduction of FCEV from 2015. This recommendation was adopted in the Office of California Governor Edmund G. Brown’s ZEV action plan, which mandates major metropolitan areas be ‘ZEV ready’ by 2015 and lays a roadmap towards putting 1.5 million ZEV on Californian roads by 2025.

ITM Power has recently secured a contract to build a 100 kg/day electrolyser station in California, which will provide totally renewable hydrogen at Hyundai’s Chino proving facility. The station will be funded through the California Energy Commission and will be delivered in the first half of 2014.

Marine and port-based applications

Ports by nature are emissions hotspots and so are receiving increasing attention as a potential market for fuel cells. Within its mandate to ensure clean and safe transportation systems, Transport Canada (TC) is investigating the use of methanol-fuelled PEM fuel cells for auxiliary power on-board ships. It wants to replace diesel generators in this application, but has faced a number of obstacles along the way. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has restrictions on the use of low flashpoint fuels on vessels, which has ruled out the use of liquid hydrogen. TC is running a project that aims to demonstrate that methanol represents no greater risk than conventional fuels in this application.

The Port of Long Beach in California is the second busiest container port in the USA, moving around six million containers per year. It is situated adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles, so the two have joined forces to address air quality issues. This collaboration began in 2006 and the two ports have recently published their latest clean air action plan. The ports themselves identify, assess, and fund projects they believe can contribute to lower emissions and this has led to the introduction of some innovative projects. Fuel cells for materials handling operations are one obvious use within the port environment, but they are not the only cargo moving equipment that can benefit from fuel cells.

Vision TruckTotal Transport Services Inc. (TTSI) is working with Vision Industries to bring hydrogen fuel cell powered drayage trucks to the ports – drayage is defined in the shipping industry as the transport of goods over short distances, and is a common activity at seaports. TTSI is purchasing 100 Tyrano Class 8 trucks from Vision and has funding from the US DOE to supply 24 trucks to the ports. Each truck uses two 16.5 kW Hydrogenics PEM fuel cells to power an electric motor that can provide 3,300 lb of torque. Hydrogen for the trucks is to be generated onsite using an existing Air Products natural gas reforming plant.

Hydrogenics is also developing a system to power rubber tyre gantry (RTG) cranes using fuel cells. RTG are a distinctive presence in ports and are used to move shipping containers between ship and shore. Using battery–fuel-cell hybrid systems to lift the crane and regenerative braking to control descent could be another zero-emissions solution for ports.

Power-to-gas

Power-to-gas has become an unavoidably important application for hydrogen technologies over the last few years; the demand for such a solution will grow quickly once the penetration of renewables on national electricity grids approaches and surpasses 10%, as Daryl Wilson explained in the conference’s opening plenary. As well as working with E.ON on P2G in Europe, Hydrogenics is also working with Enbridge, Canada’s largest gas distributor. Enbridge’s David Teichroeb states that Canada has a gas storage capacity of 234 TWh, which equates to more than 40% of the country’s electricity use – a vast potential store. Teichroeb describes power-to-gas as “exchanging the currency of energy.” Enbridge and Hydrogenics are building a 1 MW P2G plant in Ontario, which Teichroeb states is not a demonstrator but a proper asset that Enbridge intends to use to its full. The project will be followed by a plant in the 5–10 MW scale and Enbridge is working to try and improve Canadian legislation on gas injection.

ITM Power recently won a competitive tender from the Thüga Group to install a 360 kW 150 kg H2/day electrolyser for a P2G project in Frankfurt; the unit should be operational later this year.

An emerging approach to P2G is the plasma gasification or cracking of natural gas into hydrogen and solid carbon. Mike Oliver of Atlantic Hydrogen introduced his company’s CarbonSaver technology, which uses microwaves to convert the hydrogen. Oliver claims hydrogen could be made for as little as $0.38/kg using current US natural gas prices and production scales of three tonnes per day. A similar approach is being promoted by Norway’s GasPlas, although neither system has been commercially proven.

Power-to-gas is one of the key concepts discussed in Fuel Cell Today’s recent full-length report, Water Electrolysis & Renewable Energy Systems.

Stationary fuel cell developments

The market for large stationary fuel cells continues to be one of the most successful areas for commercial fuel cell deployments, and it was no surprise to see representatives of companies such as FuelCell Energy and ClearEdge Power presenting at the conference. FuelCell Energy’s Vice President, Tony Leo, introduced the company’s Direct FuelCell technology, which has an electrical efficiency of around 47% and a total efficiency of up to 80% when running in combined heat and power mode. The company is developing a 60 MW fuel cell ‘power park’ in Hwaseong, South Korea with its partner, local utility POSCO Energy. Electricity from the systems currently costs $0.14–0.15/kWh before subsidies. The average US electricity price ranges between $0.07–0.30/kWh, so the use of fuel cells is an appealing proposition in many areas regardless of potential operating subsidies. Capital costs are still high, however; FuelCell Energy systems currently cost around $3,000/kW, although volume manufacturing could decrease this to $2,000/kW.

ClearEdge Power is also now active in the large stationary fuel cell market following its acquisition of UTC Power earlier this year. ClearEdge sells 400 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell systems and has a number of projects running both in Korea and at home in the USA, one recent example of which is a supply contract with US telecommunications giant Verizon for fuel cells to co-power a variety of its US sites, including corporate offices, call centres and data centres. ClearEdge is targeting the US states with the highest electricity prices, as the higher the electricity price, the better the value proposition a fuel cell presents.

Ballard Power Systems is also active in the stationary fuel cell market, although its focus lies predominantly in fuel cells for telecoms backup power, marketing the ElectraGen product lines it acquired from IdaTech in summer 2012. Sales in the telecoms backup sector in Q1 2013 were up 400% year-on-year for Ballard. In November 2012 the company signed an agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks, one of the world’s largest telecoms equipment manufacturers, making ElectraGen fuel cells a standard option in the ordering of new base stations.Ballard ElectraGen MESeveral integrated systems are being tested for NTT DoCoMo in Japan, where the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has given the system statutory approval.

ElectraGen-ME systems are fuelled using a mixture of methanol and water and can provide power for long periods of time during grid outages, such as those experienced during natural disasters and extreme weather events. Hydrogen-fuelled versions are also available, though are proving to be less popular thanks to the ease of handling methanol.

Closing remarks

The fuel cell industry as it stands is fragmented, remarked E4Tech’s David Hart in the conference’s closing plenary. There is limited commonality between technology types and some sub-industries and applications are far more developed than others. This fragmentation is unavoidable when addressing a technology with so many diverse uses, though the sharing of business expertise will help the industry as a whole and Hart recommends companies be open, nurture cross-industry relationships and exploit external expertise where they can. The fuel cell and hydrogen industry is undoubtedly now in a state of flux as it evolves from an R&D-driven industry to a commercially-driven one. We look forward to seeing what further changes the next year will bring.

Fuel Cell Today’s own Dan Carter shared his thoughts on three developments the next five years will bring in the fuel cell sector. Continued technology improvement is to be expected, with advancements in materials and system design increasing performance and durability. Changes to manufacturing will also be necessary, moving away from hand-built prototypes and introducing standardised, mass-produced components, made in large volumes and on automated production lines. This will not only lower costs, but it will improve the quality and performance of fuel cells. Finally, we should begin to see for the first time a number of fuel cell companies emerging as profitable enterprises, as products prove their viability and commercial sales continue to grow.

Dan Carter Manager
Jonathan Wing Market Analyst
info@fuelcelltoday.com
www.fuelcelltoday.com

 

For the original article, please click here.

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The Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2) and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) will sign a partnership agreement to advance the research, the technological development and the market of the hydrogen and fuel cell sector in Spain and C

June 27, 2013
The Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2) and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) will sign a partnership agreement to advance the research, the technological development and the market of the hydrogen and fuel cell sector in Spain and C
  • By coordinating their efforts, both associations will jointly advocate new initiatives and technology development projects, thus positioning Spanish and Canadian entities of the hydrogen and fuel cell sector in a competitive place on the international market.
  • Implied within the agreement is the cooperation between both entities to promote the relationship, cooperation and technology transfer of the Industry, the Public Administrations, the Universities and the Research Centers of both countries, with the purpose of benefiting the technology development of the sector.

Madrid, 6th June, 2013 – The Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2) and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) have decided to combine their efforts to promote, in both countries, the research and technology development in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, thus encouraging the collaboration and cooperation between the partner/member entities of both associations. This agreement is birthed in view of the need to promote advances in the hydrogen sector on an international level, thus providing a meeting point for professionals of the Canadian and Spanish sector.

Next June 18, 2013, within the framework of the International Conference: Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2013 (June 16-19, Vancouver), the President of the AeH2, Mr. José Javier Brey Sánchez, and the President of the CHFCA, Mr. Eric Denhoff, will sign a partnership agreement ("Memorandum of Understanding-MOU").

Among the planned actions included in the partnership agreement are the following:
-    To promote the relationship and cooperation among the member entities of both associations, as well as to further the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology industry in both countries.
-    To increase bilateral cooperation alliances among companies of the sector from both countries, with a view toward holding technology transfer events (workshops, conferences, seminars, etc.) and to promote the startup of high-standard R+D+I projects, all of this in order to strengthen the collaboration between the member companies of AeH2 and CHFCA, as well as the work on a global scale.

By promoting the internationalization of Spanish companies in an efficient way, this partnership agreement will likewise increase the competitiveness of the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, and therefore, the domestic economy as well.

It is worth noting that, thanks to the invaluable cooperation and support to the sector on the part of the Canadian Embassy in Spain, the signing of this partnership agreement is becoming a reality. Said Embassy has been collaborating with both associations since 2010, thus promoting a joint effort of the same for the sustainability and efficiency of the current energy system.


Regarding the AeH2 www.aeh2.org
As a non-profit organization, the main purpose of the Spanish Hydrogen Association (AeH2) is to advance the development of hydrogen technologies as energy vector and to promote its use in commercial and industrial applications.
The AeH2 is comprised of a group of companies, as well as private and public institutions and people that share a common interest in achieving the association's primary purpose. Included among its partners are the most active Spanish companies, institutions and researchers in these technologies.


Regarding the CHFCA www.chfca.ca
The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA), in representation of the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, is at the forefront in the development of clean energy on a worldwide basis. Included among its members are entities (companies, private and public institutions) that have the necessary experience to implement and promote the sector.


For more information:
Mrs. Sagrari Miguel Montalvá
Technical Secretariat - Spanish Hydrogen Association
91 804 53 72- 91 241 95 31 Fax. 91 771 08 54
info@aeh2.org
www.aeh2.org

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Scotland and Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Associations sign MOU

June 27, 2013
Scotland and Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Associations sign MOU VANCOUVER, BC –Today, June 18, 2013 at the HFC2013 international conference in Vancouver a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA). The CHFCA was represented by Daryl Wilson, Chairman of the CHFCA and the SHFCA was represented by John Lidderdale, Chairman of the SHFCA Board.

This is the first example of national industry associations representing the interests of the rapidly growing hydrogen and fuel cell sector establishing a trans-continental agreement on future collaborative working and supporting the development of trade and innovation links. This agreement has been facilitated by the valuable support from Scottish Development International and the Scottish Government in helping SHFCA develop an international presence.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing said “The signing of the MOU highlights the commitment between CHFCA and SHFCA to help develop international relations and trade.  The work of these two bodies should be commended. “We have already seen that Scotland has the best renewable energy resources in Europe, and we are firmly on course to meet our target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s total electricity demand from renewables by 2020. “Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies can help Scotland achieve maximum value from its renewable resources by providing options for energy storage and a route towards decarbonising our electricity, heat and transport sectors.”

John Lidderdale, Chairman of SHFCA added : ‘This MOU with the CHFCA supports the ambition we have for SHFCA to achieve the largest membership base of any hydrogen and fuel cell organisation in the world. We want our members to actively support the development and deployment of cleantech, energy efficient technologies, and renewables in Scotland to deliver real benefits in practical and economic terms at a local level. This MOU with the CHFCA will be of commercial benefit to all members of SHFCA and CHFCA by helping to develop trade and innovation links between Scotland and Canada’

Daryl Wilson, President and CEO of Hydrogenics and Chairman of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association stated "Canada has a long and productive relationship with Scottish clean energy interests and in particular with the growing hydrogen and fuel cell sector in Scotland. We are excited about deepening this relationship through the MOU and in exploring together how we can accelerate the sector's development on both sides of the Atlantic"

Anne MacColl, CEO of Scottish Development International added ‘There is a very considerable opportunity for Scotland and the UK to achieve a major hydrogen and fuel cell economy, and to become a significant player on the international scene. We believe that this MOU will help to harness the skills and expertise available within the CHFCA membership, an example of which is the hydrogen fuel cell company, Ballard, which is already involved in the £20m Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus project. The MoU will also help ensure that Scotland is promoted on the international stage as the preferred destination for fuel cell & hydrogen development and deployment.’



About the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association : further information is available on the SHFCA website at www.shfca.org.uk

About the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association : further information is available on the CHFCA website at www.chfca.ca

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Hydrogenics Corporation Wins National Award for Fuel Cell Innovator of the Year

June 27, 2013
 Hydrogenics Corporation Wins National Award for Fuel Cell Innovator of the Year

June 18, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC –Hydrogenics Corporation based in Mississauga, Ontario has been recognized in a national business-leadership award for over 60 years of experience and expertise in designing, manufacturing, building and installing industrial and commercial hydrogen systems around the globe. The award was announced at the CHFCA Achievement and Innovation Awards Evening Gala held during the 6th International Hydrogen + Fuel Cell Conference & Exhibition (HFC 2013) at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

As a world leader in hydrogen power, with fuel cell systems operating in fleets and utility rooms around the globe, Hydrogenic’s Fuel Cell Power Modules have successfully applied hydrogen power to mobile applications including forklifts, buses, and utility vehicles.  Hydrogenics has the technology and experience to calculate the viability of hydrogen energy storage for off-grid renewable energy communities, thereby allowing diesel-dependent communities to convert to 100 percent renewable energy and lighten overall carbon footprint. 

The award was presented to Hydrogenics by Ross Bailey, Chairman of the HFC 2013 Conference. Bailey said Hydrogenics was more than just an innovator – the company had also become a champion promoting the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen fuel cells. 

“As a result of  Hydrogenics’  1 megawatt hydrogen energy storage system to be deployed in the City of Hamburg, Germany, the public is beginning to understand the solid business case behind the ‘Power-to-Gas’ concept,” said Bailey.  “Hydrogenics will be producing the world’s largest single PEM electrolyser stack and is helping to create a new industry standard.”

In addition, Hydrogenics Corporation was awarded the largest single order in its company history by a major OEM. Secured by Hydrogenics’ Power Systems division, based in Toronto, Canada, the follow-on contract includes a firm-fixed-price exclusive design and manufacture contract valued at more than US$36 million.
Hydrogenics’ corporate headquarters are in Mississauga, Canada and they have other corporate and sales offices, and hydrogen installations, operating in countries around the world.

The company offers world leading expertise for a range of applications, including
•    Hydrogen generators for Industrial processes and Fueling stations
•    Hydrogen fuel cells for electric vehicles, such as urban transit buses, commercial fleets, utility vehicles and electric lift trucks
•    Fuel cell installations for freestanding electrical power plants and UPS systems (uninterruptible power supply)
•    Hydrogen storage and power systems for optimizing solar and wind systems during lulls and peaks.

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association also gave out two other honours at tonight’s ceremony, including:
•    Lifetime Achievement Award—Dr. David P. Wilkinson
•    Academic Award of Excellence—Dr. Brant A. Peppley

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association developed the awards to recognize technological innovation, encourage entrepreneurial achievement and reward individuals and organizations demonstrating a passion for the development of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry in Canada.

About CHFCA

The CHFCA is a national, non-profit organization that supports Canadian corporations, governments and educational institutions involved in developing, demonstrating and deploying hydrogen and fuel cell products and services domestically.
Its members work on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, components, infrastructure, systems supply and integration, fuelling systems, fuel storage, engineering and financial services.
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MEDIA CONTACT:

Carolyn Bailey
CHFCA
cbailey@chfca.ca

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David P. Wilkinson, Director of UBC Clean Energy Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cells Wins CHFCA Lifetime Achievement Award

June 27, 2013
 David P. Wilkinson, Director of UBC Clean Energy Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cells Wins CHFCA Lifetime Achievement Award

June 18, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC – Director of UBC Clean Energy Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cells, David P. Wilkinson, was recipient of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association representing Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry.  The honour was announced at the CHFCA Achievement and Innovation Awards Evening Gala held during the 6th International Hydrogen + Fuel Cell Conference & Exhibition (HFC 2013) at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The award recognizes Dr. Wilkinson’s life-long personal involvement in fuel cell technology which includes closing significant technology gaps, providing a basis for future generations of fuel cells, integrating fuel cell technology with clean energy approaches, and simplifying the overall fuel cell system and energy pathways.  The award was presented to Wilkinson by Ross Bailey, Chair of HFC 2013 and President & CEO, Greenlight Innovation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes achievements by an individual or organization that exemplifies a long-term commitment to advancing the status of hydrogen and fuel cells in Canada.

Bailey said that throughout Wilkinson’s career in the development of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell sector—which  spans over three decades—“his industrial and research experience as a technical innovator is admirable and the industry is fortunate to have (Wilkinson) as a passionate ambassador promoting fuel cells and clean energy.”

Dr. Wilkinson was awarded Canada Research Chair in Clean Energy and Fuel Cells in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2004 and has maintained a joint appointment with the University and the Canadian National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI).  In that capacity, Dr. Wilkinson serves as Senior Advisor responsible for carrying out collaborative research with the Institute.

In 2009 Dr. Wilkinson was appointed Director of the UBC Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), an interdisciplinary Institute focused on integrated clean energy solutions.
Prior to joining UBC, Dr. Wilkinson served as Vice President of Research at Ballard Power Systems and played an integral role that has helped to make Ballard Power Systems a world leader in the development of fuel cell technology.

“Canada is acknowledged as a world leader in large-scale hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Bailey. “And, David Wilkinson continues to play a critical role in laying the foundation for this.”
The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association also gave out two other honours at tonight’s ceremony, including:
•    Innovator of the Year Award—Hydrogenics Corporation
•    Academic Award of Excellence—Dr. Brant A. Peppley

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association developed the awards to recognize technological innovation, encourage entrepreneurial achievement and reward individuals and organizations demonstrating a passion for the development of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry in Canada.

About CHFCA

The CHFCA is a national, non-profit organization that supports Canadian corporations, governments and educational institutions involved in developing, demonstrating and deploying hydrogen and fuel cell products and services domestically.

Its members work on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, components, infrastructure, systems supply and integration, fuelling systems, fuel storage, engineering and financial services.
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MEDIA CONTACT:

Carolyn Bailey
CHFCA
cbailey@chfca.ca

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Brant A. Peppley Wins Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Award For Academic Excellence

June 27, 2013
Brant A. Peppley Wins Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Award For Academic Excellence

June 18, 2013

VANCOUVER, BC –Brant A. Peppley, Ph.D, Director at Queen's-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre and Canada’s Research Chair in Fuel Cells was presented an award for academic excellence from the Association representing Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry.  The honour was announced at the CHFCA Achievement and Innovation Awards Evening Gala held during the 6th International Hydrogen + Fuel Cell Conference & Exhibition (HFC 2013) at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The award from the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association recognizes close to thirty years of achievements by Dr. Peppley in the field of fuel cell research; notable credentials include: Canada Research Chair in Fuel Cells, Founding Director of Queen’s-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre—a multidisciplinary research group consisting of numerous postdoctoral fellows and graduate students from Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada, and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University.

In addition, Dr. Peppley was the Project Leader of the Ontario Fuel Cell Research and Innovation Network, which received over $5 million from the Ontario Ministry or Research and Innovation as a match to industrial support from eight fuel cell related companies

HFC 2013 Conference Chairman Ross Bailey said, “Dr. Peppley has earned the award on several fronts including his breakthrough research, his tireless efforts to raise public awareness about our sector  and his long-standing collaboration with academics and industry across Canada.”
Bailey praised Dr. Peppley’s “enthusiasm for accelerating public awareness of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell projects”, and his “active promotion of the progress and potential of this sustainable, clean technology at a wide range of public events,” including  the Ministry of Industry and Trade event on planning Canada’s energy future where (Dr. Peppley) was the sole speaker representing the hydrogen and fuel cell industry.

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association also gave out two other honours at tonight’s ceremony, including:
•    Innovator of the Year Award—Hydrogenics Corporation
•    Lifetime Achievement Award—Dr. David P. Wilkinson

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association developed the awards to recognize technological innovation, encourage entrepreneurial achievement and reward individuals and organizations demonstrating a passion for the development of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry in Canada.

About CHFCA

The CHFCA is a national, non-profit organization that supports Canadian corporations, governments and educational institutions involved in developing, demonstrating and deploying hydrogen and fuel cell products and services domestically.
Its members work on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, components, infrastructure, systems supply and integration, fuelling systems, fuel storage, engineering and financial services.


MEDIA CONTACT:

Carolyn Bailey
CHFCA
cbailey@chfca.ca

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