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CP’s Expanded Hydrogen Locomotive Program

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Canadian Pacific (CP) has ordered eight more Ballard fuel cell modules for expansion of hydrogen locomotive development program.

CP is expanding its Hydrogen Locomotive Program from one to three locomotives, with expected delivery in 2022, and has ordered eight additional 200 kW fuel cell modules from Ballard to support the expansion.

Inclusive of Ballard’s announcement in March 2021, the company will provide a total of 14 fuel cell modules, each module with a rated power output of 200 kW, to support this program.

The expansion is partially supported by a 50/50 C$15 million matching grant from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) as part of its Shovel-Ready Challenge announced late last year.

The CP program was selected as one of sixteen emissions reduction projects to receive provincial funding.

In December 2020, CP announced it would design and build North America’s first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive using fuel cells and batteries to power the locomotive’s electric traction motors.

With the ERA grant, CP is building upon its early program research to convert an additional line-haul locomotive and a yard switcher locomotive.

This work will refine the process of converting diesel-electric powertrains to hydrogen-electric powertrains over a series of three categories of locomotive, which collectively represent most locomotives in use throughout North America.

To support hydrogen locomotive operations, the project will include installation of hydrogen production and fuelling facilities at CP railyards in Calgary and Edmonton.

The Calgary fuelling facility will include an electrolysis plant to produce hydrogen from water. This facility will operate on renewable power from solar panels at CP’s headquarters campus and produce zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The Edmonton facility includes a small-scale steam methane reformation system that will generate hydrogen from Alberta’s natural gas resources. The system will be constructed to accommodate the possible future addition of greenhouse gas capture equipment.

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