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SoCal Edison, Chevron Launch Hydrogen Energy Station Program

May 21, 2007

ROSEMEAD, Calif. --- Southern California Edison (SCE) has partnered with Chevron Technology Ventures LLC to run a hydrogen energy station demonstration program at the utility company's Rosemead headquarters. The five-year test project, co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, seeks to provide greater understanding of hydrogen's potential for future transportation needs. John Bryson, chairman of Edison International, said the program is part of the company's commitment to research and develop electric transportation in order to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. That strategy includes switching to cleaner transportation fuels, increasing purchases of renewable energy, increasing support for energy efficiency and investing in emerging clean technologies. "Strengthening energy security and environmental protections will drive development of next-generation transportation technologies. In the future, fuel cells powered by hydrogen may be part of the solution," Bryson said. The SCE station is among the first facilities in Southern California to fully explore the electrolyzer process to generate hydrogen. Today, there are basically two methods of generating hydrogen fuel. One converts a fossil-based fuel into hydrogen, while the other method, known as electrolysis, passes electricity through water to separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules. It is this electrolyzer process that SCE is most interested in studying for future applications. An on-site alkaline electrolyzer will produce up to 40 kilograms (kgs) of hydrogen per day with 60 kgs of storage. An SCE-designed "power analyzing system" will gather detailed system-wide energy impact data on the entire hydrogen production process. The program will feature a fleet of up to nine zero-emission Hyundai fuel cell cars, powered by UTC Power fuel cells that will be evaluated as part of the station's operational demonstration. The Hyundai fuel cell vehicles include a GPS tracking system and advanced data logging capabilities to evaluate their performance in a real-world application. This is one of five Chevron hydrogen stations commissioned and implemented in California, Florida and Michigan. "At each Chevron Hydrogen station, we're using a different technology. This will help us understand which technologies work best and what factors need to be in place to make hydrogen a viable transportation fuel," said Rick Zalesky, Chevron vice president of hydrogen and biofuels.
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