LANCASTER, Calif. — A year and a half after Lancaster announced its plans to become the first hydrogen-powered city in the U.S., the Antelope Valley enclave will become the site of one of California’s largest green hydrogen production facilities. The new operation will produce 20,000 tons of renewable hydrogen annually and supply users throughout the Los Angeles area when it opens in 2025.

“Lancaster is building a robust hydrogen production capacity to enable regional decarbonization,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement announcing the new plant Tuesday. “We believe municipalities can lead the fight against climate change from the bottom up by unleashing businesses’ innovative capacities.”

The new plant will be operated by Texas-based green hydrogen company Element Resources, which will set up shop in a part of East Lancaster that is strategically located with access to highway and rail transportation to key Southern California markets. The facility is located less than 100 miles from the ports of LA and Long Beach, where a handful of companies are beginning to use hydrogen-powered trucks and equipment.

Prized for its abundance and an ability to be created and consumed without generating any emissions, hydrogen can be made from water, renewable biomethane gas and even plastic waste. The Element Resources plant in Lancaster will use solar power and electrolysis to produce hydrogen with zero emissions. 

In July 2021, Parris announced a partnership with Fukushima, Japan, to become sister cities promoting hydrogen. 

“Solving climate extinction requires never-before-seen global collaboration and smart, ambitious solutions,” he said at the time. “Hydrogen will be the critical component for making all of this work. For the first time, we actually have the technology to save the planet.”

The Element Resources plant will complement two other facilities that are already in development in Lancaster, including an anaerobic digester from Hitachi Zosen Inova that will make renewable hydrogen out of organic waste and SGH2 Energy’s facility to gasify recycled mixed paper.