Setting example for new energy sources
The City of Lancaster announced that their winning proposal under the U.S. Department of Energy H2 Twin Cities 2022 program, will launch the Pacific Hydrogen Alliance (PHA). This alliance will see Lancaster and Namie Town of Japan serve as mentors for the County of Hawai’i, Hawaii on the development and deployment of hydrogen energy solutions at the municipal level.
“Climate extinction is not a problem that Lancaster or Namie can solve alone. But together, we may lead the way for the rest of the world to join us before it's too late,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We are thrilled to connect with other cities around the world that share our ambition and recognize that hydrogen's potential can alter our current climate trajectory for the better.”
“After suffering great casualties from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear disaster 12 years ago, Namie Town is aiming to maximize the usage of renewable energy and hydrogen energy produced at the FH2R and advance toward a zero-carbon city. Through the mentor-mentee program and the alliance between our three cities, we would like to continue working toward the construction of a hydrogen society,” explained Mayor of Namie Town, Yoshida Eiko.
“As the County of Hawai’i seeks to build out its hydrogen capabilities to achieve net zero, we are pleased to partner with the City of Lancaster and Namie through the new Pacific Hydrogen Alliance. Clean hydrogen has the potential to bring immense economic and environmental benefits for our county. Clean hydrogen can provide a flexible fuel for transportation and power generation, enhancing the County of Hawai’i’s energy resilience and security at the local level,” said Mayor of the County of Hawai’i, Mitch Roth.
The municipalities represent diverse geographies, demographics, economic drivers, and levels of hydrogen deployment with Lancaster in the high desert and the tropical County of Hawai‘i in the central Pacific, which each have populations nearing 200,000, differing greatly from the seaside town Namie in northern Japan, whose population is about 20,000. The unique capabilities and demands in each jurisdiction will provide important opportunities for resource sharing and shaping each location’s hydrogen development choices.
Lex Heslin, CEO of ENSO Infrastructure, the PHA project manager, describes the alliance as “the first program that bridges California, Hawai’i and Japan with municipal master planning, technology sharing and expedited deployment strategies for hydrogen.”
According to Heslin, each partner brings unique qualities that make the alliance a formidable agent of change in the three key areas of focus: Personal Impacts on Citizens, Hydrogen Infrastructure, and Environmental Benefits.
“The mutual mission to serve their communities with workforce development, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and mindfulness in environmental justice, will play a key role in how they approach these focus areas,” Heslin said.