Port of Seattle green hydrogen fuel project underway with DOE funding

Posted on December 8, 2021

Two studies are proceeding to determine the potential for the clean energy source.

Teams at Seattle City Light, Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are starting a project to bring green hydrogen fuel to the Port of Seattle.

They will examine the potential for using the renewable energy for powering medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

To begin, the teams will conduct an assessment of the issues that will be associated with boosting the green hydrogen fuel infrastructure to such a degree that it would meet the Port of Seattle’s demand. This would include both maritime needs and the use of the electrical grid. The research the teams are conducting are a component of the “Utility Next” portfolio of Seattle City Light.

That portfolio is comprised of 17 prospective projects under consideration as a part of the decarbonization of Seattle. Together, the projects will transform the city’s grid, while looking into the potential for local clean energy development and meeting future energy demand.

The Department of Energy (DOE) awards for this purpose total $2.12 million for helping to meet decarbonization targets set by the Port of Seattle and Seattle City Light. The teams also include partners at PACCAR/Kenworth and The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA).

Experts at PNNL and Sandia will be contributing to this project with their expertise in helping to evaluate all the various issues that need to be considered for progressing with clean H2 into the future. This will also include the safe storage and handling of the clean energy while remaining compliant with the latest safety standards.

NWSA, Seattle City Light and the Port of Seattle are also working together on the planning of a spectrum of future energy needs across the city’s harbor. That initiative has been called the Seattle Waterfront Clean Energy Strategy. The outcome of the examinations PNNL conducts will provide critical guidance for the direction that effort will take.

The teams currently expect that the green hydrogen fuel project will require two years in which to produce the final recommendations for the project. PNNL, Seattle City Light and Sandia National Laboratories will keep up their updates throughout that time as they meet major project milestones.

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