Toyota Motor North America Inc. (TMNA), the US subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp., has recently announced that the company will build a bio-waste power plant that also generates hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles (FCV) used in its logistic service operation. Situated at the Port of Long Beach in the US state of California, this power plant will convert methane from the manure of dairy cows into electricity, hydrogen and water. Also known as Tri-Gen, this facility will be the first commercial-scale 100% renewable power plus hydrogen generation station in North America.
Toyota says that Tri-Gen will be producing around 2.35 megawatts of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen every day. The power generation capacity can meet the daily consumption of around 2,000 homes, while the hydrogen generation capacity can meet the daily on-road consumption of nearly 1,500 FCVs.
At the same time of announcing the Tri-Gen project, Toyota also stated that it has built the world’s largest hydrogen fueling station. This station is in addition to the 31 others that have been installed across California. In the future, Toyota will continue to work with other companies such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC to expand the network of hydrogen fueling stations.
The main challenges to the market growth of FCVs include the high costs of fuel cells and the difficulties with the construction of hydrogen fueling stations.
Nevertheless, Toyota has set itself apart from other auto makers by being a strong proponent of FCVs. Doug Murtha, vice president of strategic planning at TMNA, said that Tri-Gen represents “a major step forward” for his company in achieving targets related to the reduction of carbon emissions and energy conservation. Toyota has set the goal of having zero carbon emissions from all of its operations by 2050.
(The above article is an English translation of a Chinese article written by Annie Lin. The photo at the top of the article is sourced from Mike Mozart via Flickr and falls under the license of CC BY 2.0.)