1 MW Ballard Fuel Cell System Now Operating at Toyota USA Headquarters

18 Oct 2012

Ballard ClearGen fuel cell at Toyota USA

Yesterday saw the commissioning of the 1.1 MW ClearGen™ fuel cell system installed at the Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. (TMS) premises in Torrance, California.

The fuel cell system was designed and built by Ballard Power Systems and uses Ballard’s proprietary proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology. It is the largest PEMFC system of its kind and the first deployment of a Ballard stationary fuel cell power generation platform.

The ClearGen will supply approximately half the electricity for six headquarters buildings during peak demand on the TMS sales and marketing headquarters campus, displacing grid electricity. Electricity generated by the fuel cell fuel is expected to save Toyota approximately $130,000 a year in reduced energy purchased from Southern California Edison. 

At 1.1 MW, the fuel cell system on average provides enough power for about 765 homes, twice the capacity of Toyota's existing solar panel system on campus.  It is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.3 million pounds during summer peak period operating hours, the equivalent to taking 294 cars off the road a year.

Hydrogen fuel is delivered directly to the system by means of an existing pipeline, which also supplies a local fuel cell vehicle refuelling station. Pipeline hydrogen used on Toyota’s campus will be offset with the purchase of landfill generated renewable bio-gas.

Hydrogen within the dedicated pipeline is provided by Air Products and created from natural gas reformation.  To mitigate emissions from the reformation process, pipeline hydrogen used on Toyota's campus will be offset with the purchase of renewable bio-gas generated from landfill. Thus the operation of the fuel cell is climate-friendly.

"Supporting alternative energy sources like hydrogen supports Toyota's overarching commitment to lessen our impact on the environment and drive forward innovative technology," said Bob Daly , TMS senior vice president. "Not only will this new hydrogen fuel cell generator reduce the environmental footprint of our headquarters campus, but it showcases the power and potential of hydrogen as a fuel source."

The development of the ClearGen was supported by funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm’s-length, not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Canada that helps commercialise Canadian clean technologies, readying them for growth and export markets.

“This announcement clearly shows the bottom-line impacts of clean technologies: saving money, improving efficiency and making the most of resources,” said Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. “We congratulate Ballard on reaching this important milestone and Toyota on showing leadership through early adoption.”

Project funding is also being provided through California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

Source: Taken from press releases from Ballard and TMS

Photo of the ClearGen system at TMS (Source: Ballard Power Systems)

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