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UBC Demonstrates Commitment to Producing Clean Energy Launching Smart Hydrogen Energy District

June 20, 2024

On June 12, the University of British Columbia held the official grand opening of the $23-million Smart Hydrogen Energy District (SHED) on the Vancouver Campus, with the Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation in attendance.

Equipped with a hydrogen fueling station, this facility is expected to pave the way for breakthroughs in critical energy research, entering a new era of B.C.’s hydrogen infrastructure. DIALOG led the design of the first two phases of the project: the EV Charging Stations E-House and the Hydrogen Production and Fueling Station, providing expertise from our integrated team including architecture, structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering, and landscape.

SHED’s hydrogen fuelling station. Image courtesy of UBC Applied Science/Paul Joseph.

SHED is one of the first initiatives in Canada to combine hydro, solar and hydrogen energy at a single site, and is the province’s first hydrogen station to serve light- and heavy-duty vehicles. It will produce hydrogen using solar and hydro power, producing clean energy locally and making the process completely green and renewable.

“Hydrogen can play a critical role in Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” shares Dr. Walter Mérida, SHED research lead and professor of mechanical engineering in the faculty of applied science. “With SHED, we demonstrate hydrogen as a bridge between renewable electricity and sustainable energy services.”

Hydrogen car fuelling up at SHED. Image courtesy of UBC Applied Science/Paul Joseph.

Professor Walter Merida, Associate Dean, UBC Faculty of Applied Science and SHED lead researcher. Image courtesy of UBC Applied Science/Paul Joseph.

Parked EVs will be able to draw power from the grid as well as give excess stored electricity back to the grid during peak hours when there is extra energy demand. With the proper infrastructure, parked cars can serve as mass power banks.

“The UBC Smart Hydrogen Energy District (SHED) is yet another leap forward in building a clean economy and creating new opportunities for British Columbians,” said Minister Osborne. “By integrating energy, transportation, and design, SHED positions British Columbia as a world leader in the hydrogen economy.”

From left: UBC President Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Minister Josie Osborne, UBC professor Walter Merida. Image courtesy of UBC Applied Science/Paul Joseph.

The SHED. Diagram from MéridaLabs.

This new space gives UBC scholars significant new research and learning opportunities to help shape the future of society and the economy.

Congratulations to everyone involved on this remarkable project.

Learn more about SHED here.

About UBC
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for teaching, learning and research, consistently ranked among the top public universities in the world. UBC embraces innovation and transforms ideas into action. Since 1915, UBC has been opening doors of opportunity for people with the curiosity, drive and vision to shape a better world.