Ballard fuel cell system to use biomass-generated hydrogen in California reservation project

Ballard’s fuel cell system will be sold with a biomass gasifier and syngas purification unit to form an integrated biomass-to-fuel cell power solution
Ballard fuel cell system to use biomass-generated hydrogen in California reservation project

Ballard Power Systems, based in Canada, has announced the sale of a 175 kilowatt ClearGen™ distributed generation fuel cell system to the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of Humboldt County, California. The system will be an integrated biomass-to-fuel cell power solution which will be the first of its kind with the potential to double the efficiency of biomass-to-power generation.

“The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe is committed to renewable power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the energy efficiency of our facilities” said Arla Ramsey, the Tribe’s vice chairperson. “Biomass-to-fuel cell power is an excellent match for our community and our region, and we see tremendous potential for deployments beyond our own facilities.”

The system will operate by converting locally-grown timber by-product into hydrogen-rich syngas using pyrolysis gasification technology. The syngas will then be purified resulting in high quality hydrogen which will then be used to power the fuel cell. The system will provide base load power for the Tribe’s commercial enterprises with by-product heat being used to warm a swimming pool in a nearby hotel.

The project is being supported by the Schatz Energy Research Centre (SERC) which is affiliated with Humboldt State University’s Environmental Resources Engineering programme. A funding bid has also been submitted to the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, a local-government joint powers agency, from the California Energy Commission’s Community Scale Renewable Energy Development, Deployment and Integration Programme. This programme aims to find technical solutions to help communities to rely primarily on local renewable energy resources for competitively priced electricity supplies.

Ballard’s Vice President of Sales Larry Stapleton said that this initial installation of the system will “demonstrate a renewable, high efficiency, low emission solution that is cost competitive today in communities relying on diesel generators.”

Further information:

Ballard Power Systems

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