Toyota is building a massive power plant that will churn out 1.2 tons of hydrogen every single day. That’s enough for the daily driving needs of almost 1,500 cars. They described the project as the “world’s first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant” – and it will allow them to power their operations at the Long Beach Port entirely with renewable energy.
The Tri-Gen facility in Long Beach will generate around 2.35 megawatts of electricity when it switches online in 2020. The generation station itself will be 100 percent renewable – it will transform California agricultural waste into hydrogen, electricity, and water. FuelCell Energy developed the Tri-Gen technology.
Toyota views the power plant as a major step towards a hydrogen society. Hydrogen from Tri-Gen will power fuel cell vehicles moving through the Long Beach Port – including Mirai sedans and Toyota’s heavy duty truck known as Project Portal. Group vice president for strategic planning Doug Murtha said in a statement, “For more than twenty years, Toyota has been leading the development of fuel cell technology because we understand the tremendous potential to reduce emissions and improve society.” The power plant fits in with Toyota’s goal to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions as part of their Environmental Challenge 2050.
Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050 also includes goals for promoting next-generation zero-emissions cars, cutting down on water use, and building a recycling-based society.
In their statement, Toyota reiterated their commitment to expanding hydrogen infrastructure. There are currently 31 retail hydrogen fueling stations in California, and Toyota has partnered with Shell – the first such collaboration between an oil and a car company – to develop new hydrogen stations.