THP-E311: Stationary Fuel Cell Applications WILL Play Prominent Role In Hydrogen Transition

Paul Rodden • Season: 2024 • Episode: 311

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 311, Toyota makes a huge hydrogen headquarter announcement in the US and its effects will be felt far beyond transportation. I’ll go through their press release and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Please feel free to email me at with any questions. Also, if you wouldn’t mind subscribing to my podcast using your preferred platform… I would greatly appreciate it.

Paul Rodden



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Toyota makes a huge hydrogen headquarter announcement in the US and its effects will be felt far beyond transportation. I’ll go through their press release and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast. So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast. In a press release on May 1, Toyota establishes hydrogen headquarters to accelerate advancement of fuel cell technology. Reaffirming its commitment to support fuel cell and additional hydrogen-related products and technology toward a hydrogen economy, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today announced that it is renaming the TMNA R&D California office as its new North American Hydrogen Headquarters (H2HQ). The office workspace at the new H2HQ was recently redesigned for its teams working from research and development to commercialization planning and sales of hydrogen-related products and technologies. There are plans to add key features to the H2HQ campus in the future such as a flexible microgrid, sustainable customer education center and more. In a quote from Ted Ogawa, President and CEO of Toyota Motor North America, Toyota has developed hydrogen fuel cell electric solutions for more than three decades, and we will continue to advance this scalable, zero-emission technology as part of our electrified portfolio. Renaming this facility as North American Hydrogen Headquarters represents our leadership in fuel cell development creating real-world products to help reduce carbon emissions. Last year, Toyota Motor Corporation reorganized its hydrogen business in Japan to create what it calls “Hydrogen Factory” with the idea to bring all hydrogen-related work under one location and accelerate customer-oriented product development and production in fuel cell or hydrogen-related products. Then, Toyota Motor Europe announced its own “Hydrogen Factory” with the aim to further grow Toyota’s hydrogen business and stimulate wider roll-out of hydrogen ecosystems and infrastructure across Europe. H2HQ will drive North American-led hydrogen initiatives and support the localization of global hydrogen-related technologies and products that include light-duty fuel cell applications, heavy-duty fuel cell opportunities, stationary fuel cell power generation, port vehicle applications and more. The facility already provides impressive research and development assets, including Toyota’s largest dynamometer (1.2 MW), a scalable test bench for stationary applications, and a hydrogen fueling station capable of providing fuel for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Moreover, as part of its plans to remain and grow fuel cell leadership, NA H2HQ will be home to several new projects in the coming years. And a quote from Josh Newman, California State Senator, I’m pleased that Toyota is building on its long standing commitment to California by locating its North American hydrogen headquarters here in the Golden State. He continues by saying the work done there along with green hydrogen initiatives throughout the state is preparing California toward a dynamic clean energy economy, which will also reduce carbon emissions and foster environmental stewardship. While extending California’s leadership in this important space. Construction has begun on a flexible microgrid that features energy sources available today, including a 230-kW solar photovoltaic system, a 1-MW stationary proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell generator, 325-kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), and an onsite 500-kWh battery energy storage system. The microgrid is designed to support the campus’ energy needs, allowing it the ability to operate off-grid. The system is expected to be fully operational by 2026. “California has ambitious goals to achieve clean air, carbon neutrality and a vibrant economy. Toyota’s investment to expand their research and development of hydrogen fuel cell technology in our state is an example of the innovation that will accelerate the development and deployment of zero-emissions transportation options, particularly as we decarbonize the goods movement sector,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. In the future, Toyota’s plans for the new North American Hydrogen HQ will include a sustainable education center, available for tours by reservation. The center will be a place for people to learn more about Toyota’s vision of sustainability and the role that hydrogen will play. From creating one of the world’s first mass market passenger fuel cell electric vehicles in the Mirai, to applying and scaling the technology now to other applications that can benefit from zero-emissions, including heavy-duty transport, power generation systems, and others, Toyota’s research and development with hydrogen fuel cell technology spans more than 30 years. For much of that time, the Gardena office supported or initiated a wide range of fuel cell electric projects. To share some recent examples, the Fuel Cell Development (FCD) team was instrumental in supporting the development of Toyota’s light-duty Mirai, launched back in 2015, and the team collaborated with industry partners to help support infrastructure growth through the state of California. In 2017, to address decarbonization efforts at local ports, Toyota’s FCD team helped prove the scalability of fuel cell technology after it acquired a Class 8 truck and fitted it with a fuel cell electric powertrain consisting of two Mirai fuel-cell stacks. This effort then led to a collaboration with PACCAR’s Kenworth brand to build 10 proof-of-concept trucks, trucks used to support the “Shore to Store” ZANZEFF project that proved the viability of hydrogen-powered fuel cells as a zero-emission powertrain in heavy-duty applications. PACCAR and Toyota later agreed in 2023 to pursue commercialization of the project, with Toyota supplying the fuel cell powertrain kits from its Kentucky plant as a Tier 1 supplier. Most recently, Toyota has demonstrated a non-automotive opportunity for hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology in stationary power generation. Toyota and TRD partnered to build a stationary unit to provide electricity at events where it was not readily available, launching the first public activation at an LPGA Tour stop where the unit supported the power needs of the event stage and sound system. The solution provided clean, quiet power that was proven to capably replace traditional diesel generators. Last year, Toyota built a 1MW fuel cell electric generator for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado to support microgrid testing at the facility. And finally, earlier this year, Toyota collaborated with Kohler on a prototype stationary generator to provide backup emergency power for Klickitat Valley Health hospital in Goldendale, Washington. Okay, so a huge move with Toyota establishing a hydrogen headquarters in California. Now, the location is obviously no surprise. And all things being equal, Toyota should see huge success in the state, as it is the only current location of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. What I would also like to see from this is Toyota’s plan to expand across North America. Now kickstarting the hydrogen economy in California is a great start, as they’ve seen solid interest in various fuel cell applications. But there is something about this press release that furthered my conviction on what are the trends I’m seeing develop, I was having a conversation with someone well ingrained at a large hydrogen development company. And he asked me what I thought the near term successes would be for hydrogen. And I gave him my usual answer of the hard to abate industries as EPA regulations continue to restrict co2 output, also upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas having to decarbonize operations from these same regulations, and transportation adopting hydrogen applications as the infrastructure continues to grow. But in light of the report I gave last week on the Texas Advanced Computing Center, switching to hydrogen fuel cells to power the data center. And some other rumors I’ve heard in passing, I told him, I could see stationary fuel cell applications starting to play a much more prominent role in the hydrogen transition than Toyota releases this announcement, identifying the stationary fuel cell as a target for their platform. And it makes sense, the technology showcased by Microsoft and plug to leverage fuel cells as backup power two years ago, is filtering down to smaller applications. And I see this as an excellent gateway for fuel cell manufacturers and hydrogen developers to join together to target data centers and other high energy demand facilities to lower their carbon footprint and even potentially move them off grid. So big news from Toyota as they could potentially be opening a massive gate for the hydrogen economy to take advantage of. All right, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at So until next time, keep your eyes up and honor one another. Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.