Distributed Energy Systems, which owns both Northern and Proton Energy Systems has been awarded a $1.8 million U. S. Army contract to put up one or more hydrogen fueling stations. If the hydrogen station being developed for the military is similar to the one already developed and in use by Proton in Las Vegas (pictured) or Burlington, Vermont it will use clean, renewable energy to produce the H2.
One of the criticisms of producing hydrogen from water is that it can take a considerable amount of electricity from the grid to do so. The hydrogen fueling station in Las Vegas is produced using solar power and the station in Vermont uses a combination of wind power and grid power (when the wind isn’t blowing as robustly as needed).
As of last year, six Ford Escape hydrogen hybrids were being developed by Quantum Technologies for the U. S. Army. General Motors also sent its first Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell to the Army for testing as part of GM’s Project Driveway program.
The Army sees the need to reduce petroleum consumption as a national security issue. By reducing dependence on oil from hostile foreign nations, the U. S. can make foreign policy decisions based upon strength rather a need for outside energy.