In January 2010, SunHydro and sister-company Proton Energy announced plans to put up solar-powered hydrogen fueling stations from Portland, Maine down to Miami, Florida creating an East Coast Hydrogen Highway for the U. S.
Now, in May 2011, SunHydro made the announcement that they were pulling back the scope of their plans and instead creating a cluster of hydrogen fueling stations in the Northeastern United States. SunHydro uses solar power to create hydrogen from water in a system that is extremely environmentally friendly.
Now, SunHydro has an additional idea for spreading their solar-powered hydrogen fueling stations across all of the U. S. states and that is to team up with the Automotive Oil Change Association.
The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) runs 15,000 oil change and quick lube centers across the country. AOCA is interested in offering the owners of the oil change shops additional revenue streams for their businesses and adding a hydrogen fueling pump may appeal to some forward-looking owners.
According to AOCA board member R. Scotti Lee, “Right now, it’s just grassroots. We’re starting to shake the trees, telling [AOCA members] that you don’t have to get this set up for tomorrow, but start setting aside money and areas you can use for fueling.”
Ultimately it will be up to the owners of the quick lube and oil change shops to decide if a SunHydro H2 fueling station is right for them. If this idea were to take off, however, then this could put hydrogen fuel for cars and other vehicles all over the U. S. states in places that make sense.
While the cluster model is a good start, at some point we will need a nationwide rollout of hydrogen fueling stations and the SunHydro model could just be the right idea at the right time to make this happen.