“Village” to Demonstrate Wind Powered Hydrogen Production

The best method of producing hydrogen for energy use is often an area of debate, and always an area of intense research. Prince Edward Island (PEI) is set to become a player in the area of hydrogen production, however, and has announced plans to partner with Hydrogenics on Canada’s first wind-hydrogen village demonstration.

PEI Premier Pat Binns and Randall MacEwen, who is the vice president of Corporate Development of Hydrogenics, will lead the way for a consortium of industry and government partners involved in developing the project. This multi-faceted initiative will demonstrate, in real-life and in real-time, how wind energy and hydrogen technologies can work together to offer clean and sustainable energy solutions across a wide range of applications, according to the PEI government. “Promoting and demonstrating wind and hydrogen technologies is a key component of our Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy,” said Binns. “The Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village will advance PEI’s reputation as a center for research and development of renewable energy technologies and contribute to our objective to reduce the province’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, achieve a measure of energy self-sufficiency, and protect our environment for future generations.” Over the course of the three years, the Wind-Hydrogen Village Project will demonstrate solutions for a range of energy applications; including the installation of a hydrogen energy station, a hydrogen storage depot, and a wind-hydrogen and wind-diesel integrated control system to power the North Cape Interpretive Center Complex as well as other homes and buildings in the North Cape area. The Hydrogen Early Adopters (h2EA) program of Technology Partnerships Canada will invest CAD 5.1 million (US $4.12 million) in the Wind-Hydrogen Village Demonstration, which should cost a total of CAD 10.3 million (US $8.34 million). The Government of Prince Edward Island will invest CAD 2.9 million in the three-year project, and this includes CAD 2.5 million in earnings from the North Cape Wind Farm and CAD 425,000 from Prince Edward Island Business Development. Hydrogenics’ reputation as a leader in the development of hydrogen technologies and the Province’s national leadership in developing wind energy facilities provide a strong foundation on which to build a wind-hydrogen village in Prince Edward Island, according to the government. PEI is already the home of the Atlantic Wind Test Site (AWTS), Canada’s only national wind test site. The island now draws more than five percent of its electricity from wind energy produced at North Cape, which is the primary site of the project. “PEI’s strong wind regime, geographic size, political will, skilled work force and committed academic community make PEI a perfect location to demonstrate and deploy wind-hydrogen technologies,” Randall MacEwen, the vice president of Hydrogenics Corporation, said. Subsequent phases of the project are expected to include a hydrogen refueling station in Charlottetown to support the refueling needs of up to three full-service hydrogen shuttle buses for the area, the deployment of fuel cell utility vehicles and the expansion of the wind-hydrogen village to provide energy for additional buildings and facilities, including at least one farm operation. The final phase of the project is expected to involve the introduction of a hydrogen-powered tour boat.
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