Seattle City Light assessing the use of clean hydrogen at the Port of Seattle

Port of Seattle

Studies exploring the use of clean hydrogen as a fuel to power medium-and-heavy-duty vehicles at the Port of Seattle are being conducted, led by a team from Seattle City Light, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Sandia National Laboratories.

The efforts are supported by two awards from the US Department of Energy (DOE) totalling $2.12 million to help meet emission reduction goals set by the Seattle City Light and the Port of Seattle.

Supported by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the studies look into the analytic framework for optimal sizing of hydrogen fuelling stations for heavy-duty vehicles at ports and large-scale hydrogen storage and risk assessment.

© Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

“The impacts of climate change are evident across ecosystems and cultures around the world. The ability to incorporate clean hydrogen in our energy portfolio will be key to enabling the Port of Seattle and North West Seaport Alliance (NWSA) to meet our commitment to being carbon-free by 2040,” said Fred Felleman, President of the Port of Seattle Commission and Managing Member and Co-Chair for the NWSA.

“We thank our partners at Seattle City Light and the Department of Energy along with PACCAR/Kenworth for helping us to build back better together.”

Clean hydrogen fuel is expected to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are a possible solution for shifting some of these uses off fossil fuels, with potential benefits that will continue to grow with the project itself, as revealed in a statement from the Port of Seattle.

Debra Smith, CEO and General Manager for Seattle City Light, added “As our industry has evolved, so has the demand from our customers to meet their specific needs with sustainable and environmentally responsible power. It is more important than ever for Seattle City Light to collaborate with our customers who want to comfort the climate crisis by decarbonising their operations.

“We are excited to partner with these agencies to implement a cleaner future for our customers at the port and our region as a whole.”

Team members from PNNL and Sandia are contributing research to these studies.

The Port of Seattle Commission has also recently voted to accelerate its emission reduction efforts by 10 years and to be net-zero or better for port-owned emissions by 2040. Announced in October 2021, the port also expanded its goal for emissions from industries operating at its facilities to be carbon neutral or better by 2050.

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