UBC’s Smart Energy District

UBC’s Vancouver campus is testing a solar- and hydrogen- driven smart energy system.It's about to change the future. Article by Chris Petty.

It’s about to change the future. Article by Chris Petty.

If you happen to pass the block bounded by Thunderbird Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall on UBC’s Vancouver campus, take note: you are experiencing history being made.

That block is being transformed into a solar- and hydrogen-driven Smart Energy District, the first project of its kind in the world. It will be developing and testing technologies in a real-world setting, with the goal of providing zero-emission power from sunlight and hydrogen.

Under the direction of Walter Mérida, professor of mechanical engineering and lead of MéridaLabs, the site will include an advanced solar array on top of the existing parking garage, a water electrolyser to produce hydrogen, a hydrogen fueling station for cars and buses, and a bi-directional charging system for electric cars. The project is funded by both private and government sources, and is slated to be up and running by late 2023.

To read the full story, please visit the UBC Applied Science announcement.

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Hydrogen as a fuel is also attractive, because it can enable geopolitical stability and energy security. A city-scale testbed.