Port of Seattle looks into clean hydrogen as fuel

Utility company Seattle City Light will lead two studies exploring the potential of shifting from fossil fuel to clean hydrogen at the Port of Seattle.

Seattle City Light looks into clean hydrogen as Ports' fuel
Courtesy of Port of Seattle

A team from Seattle City Light, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Sandia National Laboratories will lead these studies. This team also includes partners at The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) and PACCAR/Kenworth.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supports these efforts with $2.12 million to help meet emission reduction goals set by the Port of Seattle.

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“The ability to incorporate clean hydrogen in our energy portfolio will be key to enabling the Port of Seattle and NWSA to meet our commitment to be carbon-free by 2040,said Fred Felleman from the Port.

Additionally, DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office supports these studies under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. They include:

  • Analytic Framework for Optimal Sizing of Hydrogen Fueling Stations for Heavy Duty Vehicles at Ports ( $1.5 million project total);
  • Large-scale Hydrogen Storage – Risk Assessment Seattle City Light and Port of Seattle ($1.1 million total).

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Clean hydrogen to reduce ghg emissions at Port of Seattle

Clean hydrogen fuel will play a significant role in reducing ghg emissions; particularly in some of the more hard-to-decarbonize maritime industries.

The team is also exploring the concept’s scalability if future demand for hydrogen increases. This is including the potential to use the energy stored as hydrogen to power the loading and unloading of cruise or cargo ships.

Furthermore, PNNL and Sandia experts will help ensure the safe storage and handling of future clean hydrogen.

The Port of Seattle is also currently underway with planning for a full range of future energy needs across the Seattle harbor. This effort falls under the Seattle Waterfront Clean Energy Strategy.

Lastly, the team is projecting a two-year timeframe to produce the final project recommendations. City Light, PNNL, and Sandia National Laboratories will therefore continue to provide updates on significant milestones.