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Solar-powered hydrogen refueling station planned for Michigan

Michigan is constructing an alterative fueling facility for its upcoming fleet of clean-tech buses, and the entire site--including hydrogen generators--will be powered by an on-site solar farm.

A Hydrogen Hybrid Bus concept.
A Hydrogen Hybrid Bus concept. hydrogenhybridbus.com

Michigan's Mass Transportation Authority isn't waiting around for the hydrogen highway to come to its neck of the woods. The transit organization is building an alternative fuel testing ground for its planned fleet of propane and hydrogen-electric buses. When it's completed, the entire facility will be powered by an on-site solar farm, including the hydrogen generators.

Mass Transportation Authority canceled its orders for electric buses that achieved only a 40-mile range, and instead will be purchasing hydrogen-electric buses that have a 300-mile range to meet its clean-energy needs, according to an article in the Flint Journal.

Working with students and researchers at the Kettering University, the MTA plans to generate the hydrogen fuel on site. Fuel cell critics often complain that hydrogen can be just as polluting as gasoline because the electricity required to create hydrogen fuel comes from coal-fired power plants. However, MTA plans to build a solar farm on its 20-acre facility that will provide energy for the entire transit facility, including the hydrogen generators.

The facility is expected to be completed in spring 2012, around the same time the order of 50 to 60 propane-fueled buses will arrive.

Source: Flint Journal