The switch was officially flipped this month as Air Products added another hydrogen customer and yet another successful undertaking to its list of alternative energy projects.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS) activated the first-ever pipeline fed 1.1 megawatt (MW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cell generator at a ceremony held at its Torrance, California headquarters campus.

Air Products’ Southern California hydrogen pipeline network is supplying the hydrogen to the zero emission fuel cell, capable of supplying approximately half of the electricity needs for six Toyota headquarters buildings during peak demand.

“Air Products has a long history of working with Toyota on alternative energy projects and now we add this novel and commendable endeavor. Several years ago, Air Products had the vision of a pipeline-fed hydrogen fueling station as a glimpse of what the future can be. That station operates today fueling vehicles across the street from Toyota’s headquarters. Now that pipeline extends to Toyota’s campus where we will supply on-demand hydrogen to help power several buildings. We applaud Toyota for its progressive and forward-thinking directives in the use of alternative energy,” said Ed Kiczek, global business director – Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.

“Supporting alternative energy sources like hydrogen supports Toyota’s overarching commitment to lessen our impact on the environment and drive forward innovative technology,” said Bob Daly, TMS senior vice president. Not only will this new hydrogen fuel cell generator reduce the environmental footprint of our headquarters campus, but it showcases the power and potential of hydrogen as a fuel source.”

Air Products’ hydrogen, sourced through the purchase of landfill generated renewable bio-gas, is supplied to Ballard Power Systems’ proprietary PEM stationary fuel cell. Ballard designed and built the PEM fuel cell, the largest of its kind. This direct power source will allow Toyota to reduce utility grid electricity usage during peak power demand. Operation of the stationary fuel cell creates zero air emissions. At 1.1 MW, the clean energy fuel cell system on average would provide enough power for about 765 homes.

The same Air Products Torrance pipeline boasted another first just over a year ago as the supplier to the United States’ first ever pipeline-fed hydrogen fueling station. The Torrance, California fueling station today supplies hydrogen for several automobile manufacturers’ fuel cell vehicles in the Los Angeles area. “The site is a tremendous model to show the efficiencies that can be gained with pipeline-supplied hydrogen to an automobile fueling station. This mode of supply offers the lowest delivered, dispensed, and cost-competitive price for hydrogen fueling on a mass scale,” said Kiczek.