Chevron has been teaming up with other companies to build hydrogen fueling stations across the nation in various demonstration projects. First, in early 2005, Chevron (Chevron Technology Ventures and Chevron Hydrogen Co.) designed, built and unveiled a hydrogen fueling station (reformer) in California under a U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant and with the help of Hyundai Motor Co. and UTC Fuel Cells. The fueling station resides at Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in Chino, California.
In August 2005, Chevron partnering with AC Transit, rolled out a hydrogen fueling station in Oakland, California. The fueling station uses steam reforming of natural gas to produce hydrogen and will support a fleet of 40-foot Van Hool/UTC/ISE fuel cell buses along with hydrogen cars and other vehicles. The fueling station will also use the excess hydrogen to run through its own fuel cell and produce electricity.
Last week, Chevron and power company Southern California Edison (SoCal Edison) announced that they were partnering up to develop a hydrogen fueling station at the SoCal Edison facility in Rosemead, California. Working under the same DOE fuel cell demonstration program, Chevron and SoCal Edison are developing a fuel cell station that uses electrolysis to split water and generate hydrogen.
This week Modine Manufacturing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has stated they are teaming up with Chevron to develop a hydrogen fueling station to be used by a U.S. military base in Selfridge, Michigan. The fueling station will reform methane to produce hydrogen onsite and on-demand.
Also this week, Chevron Energy Solutions, another subsidiary has teamed up with FuelCell Energy, Inc. to develop and place a one-megawatt (MW) hydrogen power plant at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, California. The plant will reform natural gas into hydrogen and run it through a fuel cell to create electricity. Annually, this plant will eliminate more than 3,200 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and will not be subject to blackouts from the strained summer electrical grid.
In order for the upcoming hydrogen infrastructure to be built, the easiest route would be to have the big oil companies such as Chevron actively involved in the process of producing, distributing and storing hydrogen. It’s encouraging to see that some of the big oil companies no longer see themselves as Big Oil, but rather Big Energy and are pushing ahead with the development of the new hydrogen economy.