The building of hydrogen fueling stations in California are now back on track (but is it the right track?). The California Energy Commission has now stated they are accepting applications for the building of up to 25 new hydrogen fueling stations.
The grants being handed out by the California Energy Commission will reimburse companies up to 65-percent of the building costs. In addition there is a 33-percent renewable hydrogen content rule in place.
Under this rule either 33-percent of the hydrogen from one station must be from renewable resources generated onsite or offsite. Or 33-percent of a network of hydrogen stations must dispense renewable hydrogen.
These new hydrogen fueling stations also must dispense compressed hydrogen at 5,000 psi and 10,000 psi plus they must have a minimum daily fueling capacity of at least 100 kg. The companies receiving the grants must have their H2 stations up and running and open to the public by October 14, 2014.
Most of the locations chosen for the new stations are in the San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley areas. Locations connecting these high population areas for some reason were not chosen.
But, not everyone is a fan of this new plan. Some people think we are on the wrong track again. On May 31, 2012 I had talked about how the hydrogen fueling station grants in California had been cancelled after the Hygen company made a formal complaint that the bidding process was geared to cut out smaller competitors from the process.
Now, that the grants have resumed, Thomas D. Elias, from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin argues, “The problem: Revised rules issued by the commission appear at first glance to cut out the favoritism that sullied last spring’s stymied grants, but the new rules still seem likely to place all or almost all the money in the same hands that would have received the canceled grants.”
You can read the rest of Mr. Elias’ opinion piece here.
And here is the full 49-page document put out by the California Energy Commission detailing their plan.
So choose for yourself – right track, wrong track or a combination of both?