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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Hydrogen

Alberta opens first commercial hydrogen refuelling station south of Edmonton

Canada is aiming to have 5,000 hydrogen or hydrogen-hybrid vehicles on the road in the western provinces within five years

Alberta opens first commercial hydrogen refuelling station south of Edmonton
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks at the station's launch event in Nisku. Photo credit: Edmonton Global

Alberta celebrated the launch of the province’s first commercial hydrogen refuelling station late last month. Premier Danielle Smith was in attendance for the historic occasion at Nisku’s biker bar and truck stop Blackjack’s Roadhouse.

“It’s very exciting to see Alberta’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station and I look forward to watching further development and expansion of hydrogen use in the years to come,” Smith said.

The station’s establishment was made possible through a partnership between Nikola Corp’s (Nasdaq: NKLA) Canadian subsidiary, the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), Suncor Energy Inc (TSX: SU), PrairiesCan and Emissions Reduction Alberta.

Canada is aiming to have 5,000 hydrogen or hydrogen-hybrid vehicles on the road in the western provinces by 2029.

“The HYLA [Nikola brand] modular fueler uses a 700-bar pressure-fill system, allowing hydrogen fuel supplied by Suncor to be compressed into smaller volumes and dispensed into onboard storage for long-range vehicles,” Nikola explained in a news release.

Clarence Shields, owner of Blackjack’s Roadhouse, is investing a substantial but unspecified amount into the station.

As demand for hydrogen grows, certain Alberta companies have been looking for underground deposits. Calgary-based Chapman Hydrogen and Petroleum Engineering plans to start drilling and testing for hydrogen underground in northern Ontario this summer.

The goal will be to produce enough of it to distribute on a commercial scale. Chapman was responsible for discovering the world’s first underground deposit of hydrogen in West Africa.

Smith’s government also recently agreed to invest C$100 million into the province’s hydrogen sector. She says Alberta produces more hydrogen than any other province.

The funds will help advance projects like the Edmonton Hydrogen Hub and Hydrogen Centre of Excellence.

Read more: Cornell University study proposes pairing cryptocurrency mining with green hydrogen production

Read more: Fighting climate change: A Mugglehead alternative energy roundup

Alberta tests Nikola truck’s range capabilities

A hydrogen fuel cell-electric hybrid truck made its way from Edmonton to Calgary and back without refuelling in late January.

The test run was part of a two-year pilot program led by the AMTA. It started just over a year ago at the Edmonton International Airport.

“The trial is trying to test the technology; the chemistry and the physics are well-known,” AMTA President Robert Harper told Electric Autonomy. “It’s trying to see what can be done on a commercial level so that these vehicles can operate in the Canadian environment and so we can prove that they can operate over distances.”

The AMTA is currently designing two trucks of this type with a 700-kilometre range to make trips between the two major Alberta cities.

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