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SARTA Breaks Ground for Hydrogen Fueling Facility

At ceremonies Jan. 5 attended by Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) in Canton, OH, broke ground for its hydrogen fueling facility.

When completed, the facility will service the fleet of seven zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses that SARTA will introduce late this year and throughout 2017. An integrated team including Ballard Power Systems, BAE Systems Controls and El Dorado National is constructing the new buses, which will comprise the largest fleet in the U.S. operating outside California.

SARTA Executive Director Kirt ­Conrad said construction of the $1.6 million fueling facility, funded by Ohio DOT, marks the first visible step in the authority’s commitment to “use the energy of tomorrow to fuel SARTA today.” He said SARTA has been working with Calstart, a national consortium of more than 150 companies, transit authorities and agencies dedicated to expanding and supporting clean transportation across the nation, to secure funding for the project.

“SARTA’s first-of-a-kind ­transportation technology is fantastic for both the local community and Ohio,” said Taylor. “Innovative projects like this help diversify our economy and put Ohio on the map as a leader in alter­native energy.”

The hydrogen fueling process begins when gaseous hydrogen flows into a compressor, where it is compacted and then pushed into long steel storage cylinders, or tubes, which are connected to dispensers by pipes that can be above ground or underground. A hydrogen dispenser looks similar to a gasoline dispenser and the fueling process is similar to dispensing CNG or filling a propane tank.

Dignitaries including SARTA Executive Director Kirt Conrad, fourth from left, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor broke ground for SARTA's hydrogen fueling facility in Canton, OH.

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