First ‘Tri-Gen’ Renewable System Opens at Port of Long Beach

California Air Resources Board member Hector De La Torre, Group Vice President of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Toyota Tom Stricker, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, FuelCell Energy CEO and President Jason Few, Long Beach Harbor Commission Vice President Bonnie Lowenthal, Long Beach City Councilman Roberto Uranga, Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Sharon L. Weissman, Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero and Port of Long Beach COO Dr. Noel Hacegaba mark the grand opening of the “Tri-gen” system at Toyota Logistics Services at the Port of Long Beach. Photo: POLB.

The first “tri-gen” system to create renewable hydrogen, electricity and water is now operating at Toyota Motor North America’s vehicle processing operations at the Port of Long Beach.

Toyota and FuelCell Energy, a company that designs, manufactures, operates and services direct fuel cell power plants, joined local civic and port leaders May 2 for the grand opening of the new system, which uses biogas from landfill waste to make renewable energy and water for the carmaker’s Long Beach vehicle processing and distribution center.

Toyota Logistics Services, which annually processes roughly 200,000 new Toyota and Lexus vehicles, is the carmaker’s largest vehicle processing facility in North America, according to the port.

The tri-gen system can generate as much as 1,200 kg/day of hydrogen, enough to fuel cell electric vehicles coming to the terminal and provide energy to a hydrogen refueling station for Toyota’s vehicle processing plant and heavy-duty drayage trucks working at the port complex.

Up to 1,400 gallons of water created from hydrogen generation can be used to wash Toyotas before customer delivery, curbing local annual water supply demand by about 500,000 gallons.

The system also helps to lower carbon dioxide emissions by more than 9,000 tons and nitrogen oxide emissions by 6 tons, according to the port.

“The goal of our collaboration with FuelCell Energy was to find sustainable solutions for (Toyota’s) vehicle processing facility here at the Port of Long Beach as part of our goal to remove carbon dioxide emissions from our operations,” Toyota Group Vice President of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs Tom Stricker said. “This groundbreaking facility shows that there are ways to reduce our emissions and burden on natural resources with scalable technology based on hydrogen.”

By Karen Robes Meeks