hydrogen

Tom Banse / NW News Network

More folks from Pacific Northwest government and industry are jumping on the hydrogen bandwagon to test if the alternative fuel could be a viable and green replacement for diesel and gasoline in some situations. The potential converts include more than half a dozen transit agencies from Everett to Eugene, state legislators and Boeing's drone subsidiary in the Columbia River Gorge.

Courtesy of Washington State Senate

A public utility in North Central Washington broke ground Monday for a hydrogen production facility. It's one of several related actions in the Pacific Northwest that reflect renewed interest in hydrogen as a clean alternative fuel.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Fifteen years ago, the California and British Columbia governments sketched bold plans for a "hydrogen highway" for clean cars stretching from Whistler, B.C., to the Mexican border. California's then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger drove a Hummer converted to run on hydrogen. Vancouver city officials pictured travelers to the 2010 Winter Olympics leaving only water vapor exhaust in their wake.

But Oregon and Washington state didn't warm to the idea. There are still no public fueling stations for hydrogen cars in either state. (Schwarzenegger replaced his hydrogen-fueled Hummer with an electric Mercedes-Benz SUV in 2017.)

Douglas County PUD

An electric utility in north central Washington wants to branch out into hydrogen fuel production. It would be the first of a group of power companies in the Pacific Northwest to use their dams to make "renewable hydrogen."