Port of Long Beach has announced a substantial financial boost of up to $300 million to facilitate the development of a hydrogen fuel hub. This funding is part of the up to $1.2 billion allocation granted to California by the U.S. Department of Energy, marking one of the largest investments in the Department’s history.
Both the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles have sought $150 million each in funding, with the intention of matching these amounts through a collaborative effort involving the ports and their tenants. This means that together, both ports could have access to a potential total of $600 million for their respective projects.
The impetus behind this program is to promote clean energy initiatives and generate job opportunities with the ultimate goal of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2045. It’s a mission driven by environmental consciousness and economic prosperity.
The grant application for California was administered by the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), a public-private partnership with a primary objective of expediting the role of renewable hydrogen in decarbonizing the state’s economy. The City of Long Beach and the Port announced their participation in this partnership last year, demonstrating their dedication to sustainable energy solutions.
While the exact amount of the grant allocated to the Port of Long Beach remains uncertain, it will support various initiatives, including the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell cargo-handling equipment and mobile hydrogen fueling trucks and stations within the port terminals. In the future, additional phases are expected to add more cargo-handling equipment and further bolster the deployment of 5,000 hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks.
In the coming weeks, further details of this funding and the projects it will support will become clearer, as indicated by Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. He described this grant as “historic” and believes it signifies a turning point in creating a sustainable, thriving green economy that will have a lasting impact not only on California but also beyond its borders.
The Port of Long Beach is no stranger to setting ambitious environmental targets. In 2017, it committed to the goal of transitioning to zero-emission cargo handling equipment by 2030, followed by zero-emission trucks by 2035. This update to the Clean Air Action Plan, initially adopted by the port in 2006, underscores its dedication to cleaner and more sustainable operations.
Moreover, earlier this year, the Port introduced its ZEERO (Zero Emissions, Energy Resilient Operation) initiative, emphasizing its commitment to decarbonization. The newly secured funding will play a pivotal role in advancing this policy, marking another significant step in its sustainability journey.
In recent months, the Port of Long Beach reached out to assess interest in the development of hydrogen infrastructure within the harbor. The response was remarkable, with numerous proposals received, covering a diverse range of project types. These proposals will be instrumental in shaping the next phases of hydrogen infrastructure development in the area.
The Port of Long Beach’s ongoing commitment to improving air quality has yielded remarkable results, with diesel pollution emissions reduced by an impressive 91% since 2005. During the recent announcement, Mayor Rex Richardson acknowledged the progress made, emphasizing that it’s only the beginning of a continued commitment to sustainability. The funding not only promises a reduction in pollution but also supports the creation of green jobs, spanning from hydrogen storage to production and manufacturing.
As Mayor Richardson aptly noted, the Port of Long Beach is on a journey to become the world’s first zero-emission seaport, and the substantial funding acquired is a major stride in this transformative quest.