Port of Long Beach

San Pedro Bay ports set to advance green hydrogen under $1.2 bn ARCHES grant

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are poised to undergo a transformative change as they secure government funding aimed at ushering in the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment across all transportation modes within the port complexes.

Image credit: Port of Long Beach

Namely, the U.S. Department of Energy is set to award a substantial grant of up to $1.2 billion to a public-private partnership spearheading California’s efforts to establish itself as a hydrogen hub.

The ambitious project, funded under the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) initiative, is expected to have a transformative impact on the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are project partners in the effort to advance the use of hydrogen fuel in goods movement via ARCHES funding which will go to projects statewide. The two San Pedro Bay ports will find out in the coming months how much funding they will receive from the grant. 

These funds, to be matched by the ports and their tenants, are expected to drive the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell cargo-handling equipment and mobile hydrogen fueling trucks or stations in the ports’ terminals.

Subsequent phases will add additional cargo-handling equipment and support the statewide deployment of 5,000 hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks. 

The funding is part of Biden’s Investing in America Agenda and it covers an investment of $7 billion aimed at launching seven Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) across the nation. 

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“By establishing a Green Hydrogen Hub, we will now have the capacity to accelerate the production of renewable hydrogen that will clean our air, generate high-quality green jobs for our local communities, and help power California into the future,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson.

“This investment will get us one step closer in providing a cleaner and healthier environment in our local communities and for the workers who move cargo,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr.

“By applying this funding in the heart of the nation’s busiest port complex, we’ll also accelerate the development of technology and infrastructure to support a national clean hydrogen network, which will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.”

“Hydrogen will have a critical role as we leverage multiple technology options to achieve zero emissions,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero.

“This funding ARCHES has secured is an important opportunity to accelerate the zero-emissions revolution happening at the San Pedro Bay ports complex. We’re enthusiastic about hydrogen fuel cells powering not only cargo-handling equipment and drayage trucks in the near term, but in the years ahead, tugs, locomotives and other vehicles used to move cargo.”

“We’ll use this grant, along with unprecedented levels of port funding, to support the purchase of hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment on all modes of transportation throughout the port complex. We are excited about the transformation that hydrogen will play in our zero-emission future,” Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, said.

The Port of Long Beach recently issued a request for information to gauge interest in developing hydrogen infrastructure in the harbor. The port said that it had received numerous proposals, covering a variety of potential project types. The information will be used to determine the next steps for advancing hydrogen infrastructure in the port area.

Together, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles created the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) — a comprehensive strategy to tackle every source of port-related air pollution.

Since 2005, port-related air pollution emissions at the Port of Long Beach have dropped 91% for diesel particulate matter, 63% for nitrogen oxides, and 97% for sulfur oxides, the port’s data shows.

Targets for reducing greenhouse gases from port-related sources were introduced as part of the 2017 CAAP. The document calls for the ports to reduce GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.