The world’s largest hydrogen fueling station could soon become San Francisco‘s biggest landmark if everything goes according to plan. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, MARAD is currently reviewing the plan to add a massive hydrogen station to the San Francisco Bay that could seriously help reduce carbon emissions from vehicles like cars, buses, a high-speed ferry and other maritime vessels. The station would have twice the capacity of the world’s biggest existing station, providing about 1,500 kg of hydrogen per day.
Using hydrogen fuel cells to power ferries would eliminate the harmful exhaust emissions of the current diesel ferries, and also make them more energy efficient, quieter, and remove the risk of fuel spills. The plant would also reduce the cost of hydrogen locally, making hydrogen-fueled cars more affordable to San Francisco drivers. Sandia National Laboratories is partnering with San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet on the project, with the hope of eventually replacing their current diesel fleet with hydrogen powered vessels.
“Everyone is talking about reducing emissions by 20 percent, 40 percent or more,” said Red and White Fleet President Tom Escher. “I thought, why not do away with emissions altogether?'”
Current plans include the construction of a high-speed hydrogen fuel cell passenger ferry and the hydrogen refuelling station. It’s estimated that a single ferry would use about 1,000 kg per day, while an average hydrogen fuel cell car might use less than five kilograms of hydrogen per week. The station has been provisionally named San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions which, thankfully for San Francisco tour guides, abbreviates to SF-BREEZE.