Ports of LA, Long Beach Join Bid to Be Hydrogen Fuel Hub

Ports of LA, Lengthy Seaside Be part of Bid to Be Hydrogen Gas Hub

A completely electrical terminal tractor sits on a trailer together with a Nissan Leaf and a flat mattress truck that runs on CNG on the civic heart in Lengthy Seaside. (Scott Varley, Day by day Breeze/SCNG through TNS)

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The Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside ports in California wish to be a part of a statewide clear hydrogen hub, by way of which they’d get greater than half a billion {dollars} in federal funding to check out the advantages of utilizing the gas to energy trucking and terminal gear.

The proposal is the most recent effort by the dual seaports as they proceed pushing to increase their choices for zero-emission expertise.

The ports are a part of a California bid to obtain tons of of tens of millions of {dollars} through federal grants which might be out there due to the Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed into legislation in November 2021. The act, generally referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, directed the U.S. Division of Vitality to offer $10 billion to develop 4 clear hydrogen hubs nationwide.

“We hope to be one of many 4,” Gene Seroka, the manager director for the Port of Los Angeles, mentioned on March 16. “We’re fairly huge gamers (however) we’ve obtained to be ready to write down our personal checks.”

The ports would every have to offer a 50% match of no matter cash they obtain if California wins one of many 4 grants.

Heather Tomley, the Port of Lengthy Seaside’s managing director of planning and environmental affairs, additionally touted the significance of being a part of the state utility.

“The Port of Lengthy Seaside sees hydrogen gas cell applied sciences as having an vital position in our transition to zero-emissions operations,” Tomley mentioned in an emailed assertion.


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“To ascertain a sturdy hydrogen ecosystem,” she added, “we’d like inexperienced hydrogen gas out there at a decrease value, a plentiful community of fueling stations and inexperienced hydrogen gas provide, technically possible, commercially out there and competitively priced gas cell gear, and workforce growth and coaching to assist hydrogen and gas cell expertise.”

The ports of L.A. and Lengthy Seaside have set targets to have completely zero-emission terminal gear by 2030 and a 100% zero-emission truck fleet by 2035. To that finish, the ports have pressed ahead on buying battery-operated gear — however that expertise has its limits.

Battery-operated automobiles are heavier than diesel ones, have shorter drive ranges and require costly charging infrastructure.

Hydrogen expertise, although, comes with some advantages, in response to a presentation that Mike Galvin, POLA’s director of business and waterfront actual property, gave to the Los Angeles harbor fee March 16. These advantages embrace the power to assist longhaul freight actions, as much as 400 miles, for vehicles and longer-duty cargo dealing with gear; providing an analogous driver expertise in comparison with diesel for all gear varieties in relation to fueling time and vary; and automobile weight is corresponding to present choices.

The L.A. port has been working for “many months making an attempt to concentrate on our position in facilitating new zero-emissions” choices, Galvin mentioned — describing POLA as “expertise agnostic.”

The expertise within the discipline continues to be evolving, he mentioned, creating some uncertainty and a scramble to find out what is going to take advantage of sense in several settings.

It seems that hydrogen might be optimum for the ports’ longhaul makes use of, Seroka mentioned, whereas electrical might suffice for shorter-distance wants throughout the twin San Pedro Bay advanced.

The LBCT container terminal on the Port of Lengthy Seaside in Lengthy Seaside, Calif. (Lauren Justice/Bloomberg Information)

The hub tasks are anticipated to showcase a complete hydrogen provide chain, together with manufacturing, storage and distribution as a approach ahead on decarbonization in numerous sectors.

With particular terminals signing on to participate, the ports’ portion of the California hub might embrace on-road vehicles, fueling stations, yard tractors, prime handler gear and tugboats.

One of many targets, Galvin informed commissioners, is to assist develop “market confidence” in hydrogen expertise.

The 2030 and 2035 zero-emission deadlines, in the meantime, are quick approaching, he mentioned.

There’s additionally a benchmark to fulfill for greenhouse fuel emissions — that they be decreased to 40% and 80% beneath 1990 ranges by 2030 and 2050, respectively.

The Alliance for Renewable Clear Hydrogen Vitality Programs, a public-private consortium, would be the lead applicant for the state’s mission to the Division of Vitality. The proposal from the L.A. and Lengthy Seaside ports can be included in that utility.

The ports’ proposal is barely a small portion of the general statewide submission. However it will function with a price range of $600 million, with a 50% match required collectively from each ports. If awarded, the primary stage would deploy hydrogen gear, together with yard gear and a fueling station. It could be scaled up in a Stage 2 rollout that would embrace deploying heavy obligation vehicles.

The state’s utility is due by April 7. A 12- to-18-month award-planning part will comply with.

Members of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners expressed assist for the plans on March 16, with Commissioner Ed Renwick calling them “incredible.”

Total, Seroka mentioned, the best way ahead to zero emissions can be costly.

“Be ready,” he mentioned. “We’re going to be chopping some very huge checks in an effort to take part or we’ll be requested to take action.”

The growing nature of competing applied sciences provides to the expense and tough decision-making, Seroka mentioned.

“We’ve obtained seven years to get to that zero-emissions cargo dealing with objective,” he added, “and I’m beginning to get actually involved.”

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