Power Electronics

BC Hydro Begins Hydrogen Fuel Cell Field Trial

BC Hydro has developed a hydrogen-fuel-cell-based emergency backup system for utility applications, powered by Ballard Power Systems’ Nexa RM Series fuel cell modules. The system is environmentally friendly, provides extended backup time and is expected to offer better long-term reliability and reduced maintenance compared to existing battery and generator systems. The installation for this field trial is at BC Hydro’s Edmonds office in Burnaby.

“This is the first field-trial of our Nexa RM Series fuel cell modules in British Columbia and we are very excited to provide a backup power solution to the utility industry,” said Ballard President and Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Campbell. “Ballard and BC Hydro have agreed to work together on the development and commercialization of backup power systems, utilizing our Nexa RM Series, for electric utility repeater stations and electric utility sub-stations. Our goal is to jointly collaborate on the development of an end-use product that can be utilized by utilities world wide.”

The Nexa RM Series has the potential to replace battery-based systems in as many as 500 applications within BC Hydro’s operations and thousands of applications in utilities around the world. BC Hydro has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ballard that includes both field-testing and the potential for commercialization of the Nexa RM Series for utility backup applications.

Ballard and BC Hydro are working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to deploy further field tests with utilities in the United States.

Key partners on this project include the province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, the National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI), Fuel Cells Canada, Powertech and Southern California Edison.

For more information, visit www.bchydro.com.

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