In Las Vegas, Nevada a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station was dedicated yesterday by representatives of the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) and the UNLV Research Foundation. Solar panels, which follow the movement of the sun throughout the day, will be used to generate electricity that will then electrolyze water to create hydrogen for the station.
The LVVWD has the admirable goal of becoming a 100-percent alternative fuel fleet by 2015 and now they are well on their way at 77-percent. The first two vehicles to use the Las Vegas hydrogen fueling station will be a Polaris Ranger utility vehicle and a Taylor-Dunn truck.
The bulk of the project was funded by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE has also just unveiled an $8.2 million project for hydrogen storage research, so that stations such as the one in Las Vegas and the hydrogen vehicles they serve will be able to more efficiently store the compressed gas aiding to future marketability.
Most of the hydrogen stations that have been rolled in the past four or five years have used hydrogen that has been produced by steam reforming of natural gas. A recent push, however, within the last 2 years has been to create hydrogen fueling stations based upon renewable energy resources such as solar to showcase to the public the fact that, from beginning to end, hydrogen can be produced without any CO2 emissions whatsoever.
Sunny Las Vegas is just the location for a solar-powered hydrogen fueling station. It may be known as Sin City, but it’s also becoming a very green city as we speak.