At a pre-Earth Day ceremony Friday, Senator Jeff Stone, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia and other officials will celebrate a $12.5 million grant from California Climate Investments for five new zero-emission New Flyer fuel cell buses. The grant also supports the development of the largest hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. of its kind, from Hydrogenics, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.
"This project represents an important step toward commercializing both heavy-duty zero-emission fuel cell vehicles and clean, renewable hydrogen fuel," said California Air Resources Board (CARB) chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Fuel cell vehicles are part of a comprehensive portfolio needed to achieve California's long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals, and this project furthers this technology advancement while providing much needed air quality benefits to communities in the Coachella Valley."
The grant is part of the state's historic effort to use proceeds from the climate change cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, including a widespread effort to promote low carbon transit such as hydrogen-powered or electric buses throughout California, with a special focus on serving disadvantaged communities.
Friday's speakers and attendees will include Senator Jeff Stone and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, California Air Resources Board member Barbara Riordan, and representatives from New Flyer and Hydrogenics - the companies contracted to build the new buses and to upgrade a heavy duty hydrogen refueling station as part of the grant award. Clean Cities Coachella Valley will also be on site to help kick off Earth Day celebrations.
"We are honored to be the recipient of this pilot project that will deploy new zero-emission buses for our community and allow us to upgrade our existing hydrogen infrastructure for fueling the proposed fuel cell fleet as well as public use," said Lauren Skiver, CEO/General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency.
"SunLine has a longstanding commitment to the environment with our clean fuels fleet - which helps us do our part to ensure our natural resources are preserved for future generations."
SunLine will operate the proposed buses daily on two regular routes from Indio to Mecca/Oasis that provide a 98% coverage of disadvantaged communities. The project will collect 12 months of performance data to be used to help further commercialization of fuel cell technology.
New Flyer, the market leader in zero-emission buses, is the only North American transit bus manufacturer offering all three types of zero-emission propulsion systems including hydrogen fuel cell-electric, battery-electric and trolley-electric buses. Hydrogenics Corporation is a world leader in engineering and building hydrogen technology, providing hydrogen generation, energy storage and hydrogen power modules to customers and partners around the world.
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