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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $46.6 million to support the 2015 buildout of 28 hydrogen fuel cell stations throughout the state.
According to Natural Gas Intelligence, the awards were approved by the five-member CEC under the Golden State’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which has awarded $400 million in the past in an effort to boost natural gas and propane offerings at the pump.
Receiving more than half of the hydrogen fuel funds will be FirstElement Fuel Inc., which will build 19 of the 28 stations. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company already operates several hydrogen fueling locations, with most located in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.
Seven other organizations will receive the remainder of the funds and subsequently build nine hydrogen fuel stations.
California’s goal is to build up to 100 hydrogen fueling stations in the state by 2024. The latest move is an attempt to revive the state’s “Hydrogen Highway” program initially promoted by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"These projects will accelerate a statewide hydrogen refueling station network that will support the commercial launch of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015," a CEC spokesperson told the news outlet, adding that California has a goal of getting 1.5 million hydrogen, battery electric and plug-in electric vehicles on its roadways by 2025.
"The infrastructure network is designed to support consumer choices by locating refueling stations and electric chargers in strategic locations throughout California," the CEC spokesperson explained.