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Joint CEC, CARB annual report details progress in build-out of hydrogen refueling infrastructure

The California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board released the annual Joint Agency Staff Report on Assembly Bill 8: 2016 Assessment of Time and Cost Needed to Attain 100 Hydrogen Refueling Stations in California. The 2016 Joint Report updates the time and cost assessments to design, permit, construct, and make hydrogen refueling stations operational and open retail for the stations funded under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP).

As of 5 December 2016, California has 25 open retail stations selling hydrogen for use as a transportation fuel with 23 more open retail stations under development. Combined with two additional California Air Resources Board-funded stations that are open non-retail (in Harbor City and at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA)), California’s hydrogen refueling station network comprises 50 stations. When the 2015 Joint Report was published, six stations were open retail.

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Source: CEC, CARB 2016 Joint Staff Report. Click to enlarge.

Highlights from the report are:

  • There are 925 FCEVs registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as of 5 October 2016. This is an increase from the 331 FCEVs registered as of April 2016 and nearly 200 registered as of October 2015. Even with this growth, ARB’s updated projections of FCEV deployment show a lag in expected deployment in the short term, but later-year deployment, in 2020-2022, exceeds what has been previously reported. ARB’s most recent projections are for 13,500 FCEVs to be on California roads by 2019 and 43,600 by 2022.

  • The growth in FCEV deployment reveals a striking increase in the amount of hydrogen being dispensed statewide. Today’s open retail stations provide a hydrogen supply that exceeds the demand of the FCEVs registered in California, but projections indicate that California will have a hydrogen dispensing capacity shortfall around 2020. The Energy Commission, ARB, and their partners are working to ensure future stations provide effective statewide coverage and appropriate capacity, and are working to reduce the time and cost of station development.

  • Hydrogen refueling station development time has decreased from, on average, more than four years to two years. The station that progressed from permitting and construction to open retail the quickest is the station in Coalinga, which reached open retail status in roughly 17 months.

  • The remaining cost to reach California’s 100-station milestone is $125 million. With the business-as-usual $20 million per year in ARFVTP funding, the 100-station milestone is projected to be achieved in 2024.

  • Added to the investment reported in the 2015 Joint Report of more than $100 million—which includes $80.9 million for infrastructure for 50 stations—the total cumulative cost is estimated at $225 million.

  • As of 30 September 2016, the average equipment, design, engineering, construction, project management, and overhead costs have been about $2.4 million for stations designed for supply by delivered gaseous hydrogen and $2.8 million for designs based on delivered liquid hydrogen. The on-site electrolysis station in the report anticipates $3.2 million for these costs. These are all-in costs, which include ARFVTP equipment costs, match funding, and other costs paid by the station developer. The average annual operations and maintenance (O&M) grant has been $100,000 per year for all types of systems, with stations eligible for up to three years of O&M support.

The report includes extensive data about financial assessments, fueling trends, social and environmental impacts, and station siting.

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