CP expanding hydrogen locomotive program

By Jack Burke21 January 2022

Ballard supplying fuel cell modules

North American railroad company Canadian Pacific (CP) is expanded its Hydrogen Locomotive Program from one to three hydrogen locomotives.

This expansion is partially supported by CAN$15 million in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) as part of its Shovel-Ready Challenge announced in late 2021. The CP program was selected as one of 16 emissions reduction projects to receive provincial funding. CP intends to refine the process of converting diesel-electric powertrains to hydrogen-electric powertrains over a series of three categories of locomotives which collectively represent the majority of locomotives in use throughout North America.

Ballard fuel cells to power expansion of Canadian Pacific (CP)’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program.

“In expanding this groundbreaking project, CP is demonstrating its commitment to combatting climate change through transformative technology,” said Keith Creel, CP’s president and CEO. “I am very pleased that Emissions Reduction Alberta selected this program for a grant and I eagerly anticipate seeing a hydrogen-powered locomotive move CP customer freight in the near future.”

Ballard Power Systems will supply eight additional 200 kW fuel cell modules to support Hydrogen Locomotive Program, with expected delivery in 2022. Including earlier orders, Ballard is set to provide a total of 14 fuel cell modules, each module with a rated power output of 200 kW, to CP.

“We are excited to deepen our collaboration with CP and accelerate the energy transition,” said Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s President & CEO. “The expansion of CP’s Hydrogen Locomotive Program is illustrative of the confidence in Ballard’s fuel cell technology and the important role hydrogen fuel cells will play in decarbonizing heavy-duty motive applications, such as freight locomotives.”

“Alberta is investing to lead the transition to affordable, reliable and clean energy. CP’s initiative represents a highly compelling opportunity to catalyze the hydrogen economy in Alberta and around the world,” said Steve MacDonald, CEO of ERA. “The project will help scale up technology and bring down the costs of deploying hydrogen to address the critical challenge of decarbonizing the long haul, heavy-freight sector.”

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