Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced the official groundbreaking on constructing a first-of-its-kind advanced hydrogen generation system at SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, California.
The H2 SilverSTARS project will produce hydrogen from renewable natural gas (RNG) and help fuel SunLine’s fleet of 17 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. At scale, this demonstration project has the potential to provide clean hydrogen at any location adjacent to a natural gas pipeline, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate California’s climate and clean air goals.
The demonstration will test STARS’ technology, which was developed at the Pacific Northwest National Lab. The technology uses a combustion-free process, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional steam methane reforming process.
Since the compact system is based on low-cost 12×1-inch, 3D-printed reactor disks and heat exchangers, it can be easily installed at fueling stations to help meet the demand while advancing climate and clean air goals. After its installation, the first STARS system will produce up to 80 kilograms of clean hydrogen a day, enough to fuel three of SunLine’s zero-emission buses daily.
Glenn Miller, the City of Indio Councilmember and SunLine Chair, said, “Once widely adopted, this project will help meet our state’s climate goals.”
Lauren Skiver, CEO/General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency, said, “Producing clean hydrogen is the future of fuel, and this system will play a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Robert Wegeng, President of STARS Technology Corporation, said, “This demonstration elegantly solves the problem with a compact, mass-produced hydrogen generator that can be placed on the gas grid in close proximity to filling stations and other places where cheap hydrogen is useful. Better yet, the hydrogen can meet the new Federal “Clean Hydrogen Standard” for regional hydrogen hubs since it can be produced from renewable natural gas.”
Neil Navin, SoCalGas vice president of clean energy innovations, said, “Adopting clean technologies and working with SunLine and STARS will help SoCalGas and California reach our shared air quality and climate goals much faster.”