Island to be Microcosm Model of the Hydrogen Economy

A proposal for an innovative project combining a commercial-scale wind farm, hydrogen production, fuel cells and hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines just received a CAD$ 5.1 million dollar boost from the Canadian government and moves one step closer to a groundbreaking.

The Honourable Joe McGuire, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, announced a $5.1-million contribution to support the development of the Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village Project. This Hydrogen Early Adopters (h2EA) program contribution is part of a $10.3-million project undertaken by Hydrogenics Corporation and Prince Edward Island Energy Corporation to demonstrate energy solutions and economic growth opportunities for local communities. “Canada is aligning its environmental policymaking with economic and market realities to protect our environment and promote the development of green technologies by Canadian firms,” said Minister Emerson. “The Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village Project is exactly the type of innovative project that will help create the healthy environment and vibrant economy that Canadians want, now and into the future.” Based at the western tip of Prince Edward Island, between Seacow Pond and North Cape, the project will use wind energy as the primary energy source and produce hydrogen to provide backup and primary electricity for industrial, farm and household needs, as well as hydrogen fuel for transportation solutions. A range of engine technologies will be showcased, including fuel cells, purpose-built hydrogen internal combustion engines and retrofitted internal combustion engines. Phase One of the project includes the installation of a hydrogen energy station, a hydrogen storage depot, and a wind-hydrogen and wind-diesel integrated control system to power a number of homes and buildings within North Cape. The next phase is expected to include the expansion of the wind-hydrogen village to allow for a farm operation, and hydrogen transportation solutions, such as shuttle buses and fuel-cell utility vehicles. The final phase of the project will involve the introduction of a hydrogen-powered tour boat. The boat will be retrofitted with an engine that has the ability to run on pure hydrogen, but with a diesel fall-back system. The prospective solutions will meet the needs of the local community and be easily replicable in other locations elsewhere in Canada. The project will develop the Canadian hydrogen supply chain as well as marketable knowledge, services and electronic applications, tested and proven in real-life situations, and showcased to the world. “Prince Edward Island’s size and wind resources provide a distinct advantage for this project. It provides an ideal microcosm model of the hydrogen economy,” said Pierre Rivard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydrogenics Corporation. The Technology Partnerships Canada h2EA program encourages Canadian industries to take the lead in demonstrating existing technologies in real-world applications, thus accelerating the market acceptance of hydrogen and hydrogen-compatible technologies with broad environmental, economic and social benefits for all Canadians. “Promoting and demonstrating wind and hydrogen technology is a key component of our government’s Renewable Energy Strategy,” said Prince Edward Island Premier Pat Binns. “We believe hydrogen technology will soon be an important part of the economy and we are pleased to be a partner in this groundbreaking project.”
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