With the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in full swing and hydrogen fuel cell buses and Chevy Equinox FCVs autorying people to and fro the British Columbia Hydrogen Highway system in full use, there has been another development for Western Canada.
In October 2007, I had talked about how the world’s largest retailer, Walmart was demoing some hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and palette trucks at their Ohio facilities. Now, in Balzac, Alberta, just outside Calgary, Walmart has decided to spend $115 million to build a green and sustainable refrigerated distribution center.
By using wind, solar and hydrogen power the facility will be 60-percent more energy efficient than other comparable facilities. Hydrogen fuel cells will replace lead-acid batteries on forklifts and palette trucks, which mean longer operational times, quick refueling and no hassle in recharging or swapping out batteries.
The new green facility will provide 800 new construction jobs for the area and 600 additional jobs for employees once the has been built. Walmart was so impressed with the hydrogen forklift demo back in 2007, they are now integrating them into their green sustainability plans going forward. Leave it to Walmart to know a good value when they see it.