BNSF loco

USA: The role of railways as consumers and transporters of hydrogen is to be studied by BNSF and Bakken Energy, which is working on the Heartland Hydrogen Hub proposal to develop a facility to produce hydrogen from natural gas.

‘Railways could play a critical role in distributing our clean hydrogen production, and could also be consumers as trains transition from diesel’, said Bakken Energy Founder and Chairman Steve Lebow on January 4 after the signing on a memorandum of understanding with BNSF. He said BNSF was ’the ideal partner to work out the role of railways in our Heartland Hydrogen Hub’.

The Heartland Hydrogen Hub proposal is being developed by the states of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wisconsin, and the partners are to bid for funding from the federal Department of Energy’s $7bn Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs programme which was announced in September.

‘Part of the equation is production, but the other part is distribution and that’s where BNSF will be invaluable’, said Bakken Energy CEO Mike Hopkins. ‘Being able to transport our hydrogen by rail would dramatically reduce our distribution costs and therefore the cost to consumers.’