Hickam leads way to lessen fossil fuel use

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo
  • Air Force Print News
The Air Force is the largest consumer of petroleum products in the Department of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne has made it a priority to find alternative fuels to replace fossil fuels.

In a partnership with the State of Hawaii, Hickam is implementing Secretary Wynne's directive and is leading the way with its hydrogen production and fuel station.

At the forefront of energy conservation the hydrogen fueling station is a joint green energy initiative between the Hawaiian Center for Advanced Transportation Technology and the Air Force's Advanced Power Technology office. Hickam has become the center of excellence for all hydrogen research in the DoD and the State of Hawaii.

"The opening of the United States Air Force's hydrogen station is a major milestone for the state of Hawaii and for the nation," said Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle.

The hydrogen station, which opened in November, is relatively small but is playing a large roll in the way the Air Force thinks about energy conservation; now and for the future.

The small hydrogen plant at Hickam AFB is the starting point for the Air Force in the pursuit to research ways to find new energy sources. It is also the spearhead for the DoD's fight to conserve energy, create cleaner air and to break its dependence on fossil fuel.

"The future is to have complete 100 percent renewable resources, meaning not burning any of our natural resources to generate energy. You can take wind power, you can take solar power and use that electricity to break down water into hydrogen and use the hydrogen to fuel our vehicles," said Tye Parrish a HydraFLX systems operations engineer.

Like the rest of the Air Force, the hydrogen station has the ability to be packed up and deployed anywhere.

"The beautiful thing about this system, to support the war fighter on the ground, we don't have to take the whole system. We can generate hydrogen at a safe location, put the hydrogen in the vessel, load the vessel on a C-17 or other transport and transport it wherever we want it, " said Parrish.

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