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NREL Opens Hydrogen Fueling Station

November 23, 2009

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently celebrated the opening of a hydrogen fueling station at its National Wind Technology Center.   The new station enhances NREL’s capabilities for testing and validating fuel cell vehicles in Colorado’s unique environment.

“The hydrogen fueling station at the wind site will allow us to perform high-altitude and cold-weather testing of fuel cell vehicles,” NREL’s Keith Wipke said.  “We are now in negotiations with several automakers to bring their prototype fuel cell vehicles to NREL.”

A fuel cell vehicle on loan from Daimler was the first car to fill up at the station this fall.  The vehicle was at the lab as part of NREL’s extensive technology validation effort, which includes six years of working with automotive companies and their fuel providers to evaluate the on-road performance of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the necessary fueling infrastructure.

The hydrogen dispensed at the station is produced via renewable electrolysis thanks to the wind-to-hydrogen (Wind2H2) demonstration project.  A partnership between NREL and Xcel Energy, the Wind2H2 project integrates wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays to hydrogen-producing electrolyzer stacks.  

“NREL’s approach of close-coupling the wind and photovoltaic electricity sources produces some of the greenest hydrogen on the planet,” NREL’s Kevin Harrison said.

While the station isn’t currently open to the public, an agreement now in development may provide access to non-NREL users. 

Visit the Hydrogen Fueling Station Locations section of the Alternative & Advanced Fuels Data Center to find hydrogen fueling stations across the United States.

—Sara Havig