Electric Vehicle

FuelCell Energy & Toyota launch Tri-gen system

LONG BEACH, Calif. (May 2, 2024) – FuelCell Energy, Inc. and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. are celebrating the grand opening of the first-of-its-kind “Tri-gen” system at the Port of Long Beach, California. Tri-gen uses biogas to produce renewable electricity, renewable hydrogen, and usable water, and was built to support the vehicle processing and distribution center for Toyota Logistics Services (TLS) at Long Beach, Toyota’s largest North American vehicle processing facility that receives approximately 200,000 new Toyota and Lexus vehicles annually. FuelCell Energy is a company that makes clean energy power plants using fuel cell technology, and their systems can generate electricity, hydrogen, and even usable water.

“The goal of our collaboration with FuelCell Energy was to find sustainable solutions for the TLS vehicle processing facility here at the Port of Long Beach as part of our goal to remove carbon dioxide emissions from our operations,” said Group Vice President of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Toyota, Tom Stricker. “This groundbreaking facility shows that there are ways to reduce our emissions. It also demonstrates a scalable technology based on hydrogen to lessen our burden on natural resources.”

Thanks to FuelCell Energy’s Tri-gen platform, TLS Long Beach is Toyota’s first port vehicle processing facility powered by 100 percent on-site generated renewable electricity. FuelCell Energy’s innovative fuel cell technology uses an electrochemical process that converts directed renewable biogas into electricity, hydrogen, and usable water. This process is highly efficient and combustion-free, emitting virtually no air pollutants.

“Tri-gen demonstrates that hydrogen-based energy can benefit businesses. It can deliver zero-emission transportation for light- and heavy-duty vehicles, support improved air quality in local communities, reduce water usage, and deliver immediate and long-term benefits to the environment,” FuelCell Energy CEO and President Jason Few said. “As a company, we are living our purpose when we enable visionary customers like Toyota to decarbonize their operations. We aid communities in utilizing hydrogen energy solutions, promoting cleaner air, and alleviating pressure on power grids and water resources.”

Tri-gen generates 2.3 megawatts of renewable electricity, some powering TLS Long Beach for operational support at the port. Excess electricity is delivered to the local utility, Southern California Edison. This is done under the California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff (BioMAT) program. Moreover, it adds a renewable, resilient, and affordable baseload electric generation resource to the electric grid.

Tri-gen, Toyota’s system, can yield 1,200 kg/day of hydrogen, catering to the fueling requirements of the forthcoming Mirai FCEV. It can also supply hydrogen to the adjacent heavy-duty hydrogen refueling station. This supports TLS logistics and drayage operations at the port. Starting January 1, 2024, only zero-emission trucks can newly register as drayage trucks under California’s Advanced Clean Fleet Regulation. By 2035, authorities will mandate that all drayage trucks emit zero emissions.

The Tri-gen platform currently backs FCEV Class 8 trucks and will aid ongoing transition to zero-emission trucks until 2035. Hydrogen production can be ramped up and down based on demand. Since completing construction last year, in January of this year Toyota used the renewable hydrogen produced at Tri-gen to fill the first Toyota Mirai vehicles at TLS, and in April the first heavy-duty FCEV Kenworth T680 Class 8 truck was filled at the adjacent Shell HD filling station using Tri-gen-produced renewable hydrogen.

The water byproduct of hydrogen generation can produce up to 1,400 gallons of usable water per day. TLS car wash operations are repurposing this water for vehicles that come into port before customer delivery. Moreover, this helps reduce the demand on the constrained local water supplies by approximately half a million gallons per year.

Supporting Port of Long Beach Initiatives

Tri-gen will help reduce more than 9,000 tons of CO₂ emissions from the power grid each year by supporting TLS operations at the Port of Long Beach. This supports both Toyota Logistics Services’ carbon reduction goals. It also supports the Port of Long Beach’s goals as a leader in innovative solutions to reducing carbon emissions.

“The dawn of the renewable hydrogen era is upon us, thanks to our collaboration with Toyota and FuelCell Energy and their innovative Tri-gen system,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “The green power generated by the Tri-gen system and similar projects is part of our multi-layered strategy. Moreover, it fuels our goal to become the world’s first zero-emissions Port.”

Tri-gen will help prevent over six tons of harmful grid NOx emissions, benefiting both people and the environment. Using hydrogen-powered fuel cell Class 8 trucks in port operations has the potential to reduce diesel consumption. This reduction could amount to more than 420,000 gallons per year.

“FuelCell Energy and Toyota’s collaborative effort signifies technological innovation. It also positions Long Beach at the forefront of global leadership in renewable energy solutions,’’ said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “Our transformative initiative solidifies our city’s status as a trailblazer in green initiatives. It shows our dedication to a cleaner, more sustainable future for our community and beyond.”

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