Power from the 1980 kW Yokohama City wind plant, known as Hama Wing, will be used to electrolyze hydrogen, the project partners said in a statement. The hydrogen will then be compressed, stored and transported by truck to four sites – a factory, a vegetable and fruit market and two warehouses – where it will be used in fuel cells powering 12 forklifts.
The project is designed to test the viability of an end-to-end low-carbon supply chain, the partners said. Commentators have speculated that it is, at least in part, a response to criticism that Toyota’s fuel cell car manufacturing process is not green enough.
Partnering on the project are the Kanagawa prefectural government, the Yokohama and Kawasaki municipal governments and three unnamed private-sector companies.
“This low-carbon hydrogen supply chain is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80 percent compared with a supply chain using forklifts powered by gasoline or grid electricity. The project’s aim is to establish a hydrogen supply chain, investigate costs, and estimate potential CO2 reductions that can be achieved with a full-fledged supply chain in the future,” the partners said.
Trial operation is planned to begin this autumn, with full-scale operation planned for 2017.