Edmonton International Airport to become hydrogen hub for piloting new technology

The airport announced a series of new initiatives on Tuesday at the first-ever Canadian Hydrogen Convention in Edmonton.

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Edmonton International Airport (EIA) will become a home for piloting emerging hydrogen technologies in the coming weeks, a spokesman for the facility said Wednesday.

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The airport announced a series of new initiatives on Tuesday at the first-ever Canadian Hydrogen Convention in Edmonton.

“We believe hydrogen will be a key technology for our airport and the aviation industry to decarbonize and reduce emissions,” said Myron Keehn, vice-president of air services for EIA.

“We are very excited to work with local and international partners to build the growing hydrogen economy in the Edmonton metro region.”

Ten new agreements were announced Wednesday, including incorporating biofuels into EIA’s equipment fleet, testing sustainable fuels, installing hydrogen fueling stations, launching hydrogen-powered buses, using hydrogen fuel cells in EIA fleet vehicles, and creating North America’s first airside hydrogen-diesel fleet.

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“We want this to become an airport decarbonization model for other transportation hubs around the world,” said Keehn.

“We know that we can take this model to be scaled and replicated across Canada and globally.”

Other announcements include a new testing agreement with Japanese firm Mitsui & Co., retrofitting heavy-duty vehicles with hydrogen fueling infrastructure, converting diesel trucks to co-combust with hydrogen and a memorandum of understanding with a Japanese company to promote investment for hydrogen technology advancement .

“We believe in a sustainable future, a future where technology and emerging energies will help us achieve carbon neutral status in the coming years,” said airport president Tom Ruth.

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Visitors to EIA will most immediately notice new hydrogen-powered shuttle buses as well as the new hydrogen fueling stations.

The airport says the changes are an effort to be carbon neutral under a climate pledge agreement it committed to last year that focuses on regular reporting of greenhouse gases, carbon elimination and credible offsets to neutralize remaining emissions.

On Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney addressed the convention, announcing the province’s plans to put $50 million over four years into a center devoted to boosting development within Alberta’s hydrogen sector.

Kenney said the province’s Clean Hydrogen Center of Excellence will help move projects from the initial proof-of-concept phase towards working prototypes and commercial success.

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The 2022 Alberta budget committed $10 million in capital funding over two years to set up the center, which was first announced last November as part of the province’s hydrogen roadmap. The remaining $40 million in operating costs will come from Alberta’s Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund, collected through a carbon tax on large emitters, to be spent by provincial agency Alberta Innovates.

Kenney said he hopes the center will draw in an additional $150 million from other levels of government and the private sector.

The UCP government estimates hydrogen to be a $2.5-trillion to $11-trillion industry worldwide by 2050.

It’s been focused on supporting the development of what is often called blue hydrogen, made from natural gas using carbon capture and storage, which has some carbon emissions.

Green hydrogen, made using renewable power, creates zero emissions.

The three-day conference ends on Thursday.

— with files from Lisa Johnson

[email protected]


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