Editor's note: This article was updated Feb. 26 to correct inaccuracies related to the funding for the project and other issues.
If current estimates hold up, the construction of the state’s first hydrogen fueling site could be complete as early as June 2023.
Twin Transit Executive Director Joe Clark presented an update on what is planned to be the state’s first hydrogen fueling station being constructed on Port of Chehalis property at Thursday’s port commissioners meeting.
The Port of Chehalis commissioners unanimously approved a motion to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Twin Transit on Sept. 9, 2021, to eventually construct the hydrogen fueling station on its property.
The non-legally binding agreement works to pave a path forward to establish the state’s first hydrogen fuel station in Lewis County, and to open up opportunities for further development of alternative fuel opportunities.
The fueling station would be located on 8 acres just off of Bishop Road, near Interstate 5 Exit 74.
Twin Transit has received a $2.55 million legislative appropriation to fund construction.
The Lewis County Public Utility District has approved the fueling station for up to 2 megawatts of use, which Clark said wouldn’t be a problem with the current plans for the project.
“If we start doing more than that, we’ll have to do some additional work ... where we’ll have a discussion about putting another substation in, but I don’t anticipate that,” Clark said. “So I think we’ll be able to stay under 2 megawatts without too much trouble.”
State and local permitting costs, in addition to other regulatory requirements, should cost around $65,000, he said.
Complete with the permitting requirements and project design, the station’s timeline for completion should be about 18 months from the program’s inception, or from when the equipment is ordered. To that end, Twin Transit is still working on a list of needed equipment and going through proposals for its acquisition, with March being the time the equipment could be ordered.
It will then take around 12 months to receive the equipment due to supply chain delays so construction could begin near the first of March 2023 if all goes to plan.
Twin Transit hopes for a 60- to 90-day construction window, he said.