Days before the Olympics kicked off in Tokyo, the Japanese city of Namie Town, in Fukushima, signed a sister cities agreement with Lancaster in northern LA County, committing to hydrogen as the cities' primary green energy strategy. The most abundant chemical substance on the planet, hydrogen has the potential to be a renewable, zero-emissions power source for transportation and electricity.

Lancaster will be the first hydrogen city in the United States.

Five things to know about Lancaster becoming the nation’s first hydrogen city:

  1. Lancaster’s partnership with Namie Town is a first-of-its-kind international agreement to develop and use hydrogen as the cities’ primary energy source.
  2. Lancaster is building several hydrogen production plants in partnership with Japanese companies to use organic trash, recycled mixed paper and solar power to generate hydrogen.

  3. The hydrogen will be used to power buildings, including Lancaster City Hall, as well as vehicles.

  4. Lancaster plans to be the first city in the country to offer rebates on hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, such as the Toyota Mirai, Honda Clarity and Hyundai Nexo.

  5. Lancaster is already the first net-zero emissions city in the world, having transitioned to solar energy.