Tech entrepreneur looks to Carson as base for hydrogen fueling station
Within about 70 days, Gary Lord plans to break ground on what he hopes will be ground zero in a clean-fuel revolution.
Lord’s company, H2 Technology Group, will be building a hydrogen fueling station to produce and distribute the zero-emission fuel at Carson Valley Oil. Lord, the chief science officer, said the station will be an example of how to make hydrogen a viable fuel source, and its capital city location will give it proximity to the government officers who can make or break the project.
“Carson City is the capital of the state and the people we need to impress are at the capital,” he said.
The station itself was made possible with a $1.1 million low-interest loan from the Nevada State Office of Energy.
“This exciting and innovative project for Nevada has great potential for both substantial renewable-energy production and the creation of skilled jobs for our great state,” said a statement from Robert Nellis, NSOE program manager.
Patty Wade, of advocacy and consulting firm Wade Consulting Group and an investor in H2, echoed Nellis, saying the investment by H2 and the state will not only bring the direct jobs of the station, but help make the region into a magnet for the field that Wade and Lord are banking on blooming.
“It’s not just jobs; it’s the right kind of jobs,” she said.
Lord said this refueling station will serve as a pilot for his company – not to mention mark Nevada as a potential leader for hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vehicles.
He noted a law recently adopted by California requiring a 75 percent reduction in ozone-forming emission from cars and light trucks between 2015 and 2025 that makes now the time to spring, he said. Wade, who also sits on the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, called the opportunity for Nevada to lead its neighbor in the products California will desperately need “primo.” Wade said she wants the technology to start in Nevada but to “march across the country.”
Hydrogen is an ideal way to reach that goal, he said it won’t require the huge costs of infrastructure upgrades of zero-emission alternative natural gas-powered cars. The hydrogen fuel can be adapted to current gas stations, he said.
“You don’t need to spend a trillion dollars on new trucks and new pumps and all that,” Lord said.
Wade said finding the opportunity for the state and H2 Technologies to work together a great example of how public-private partnerships can work out – not only does it put the state on the map of a burgeoning industry but it could potentially make it a hub hydrogen car-related manufacturing, bringing jobs with it as varied as manufacturing to those requiring doctorate-level engineering educations.
“The way to make this work is to stop fighting with each other,” Wade said.