First Mode brings proving grounds to Pacific Northwest

A two-megawatt hydrogen-fueled powerplant, designed and built by First Mode in Seattle, is installed in this Anglo American haul truck at their platinum mine in Mogalakwena, South Africa, creating the world’s largest zero-emission vehicle in the world.

Carbon reduction company First Mode has established a first-of-its-kind proving grounds in Washington state to test and optimize ultra-class mining haul trucks as well as associated hydrogen refueling infrastructure. 

The First Mode Proving Grounds, which includes an outdoor work yard and office space, is located at the TransAlta Centralia Mine, a former coal mine now in the process of reclamation. The site enables First Mode to better analyze full mine site infrastructure and operations in a true mining environment. 

“The First Mode Proving Grounds in Centralia is a critical next step in our mission to help heavy industry eliminate diesel and transition to clean energy,” said First Mode CEO Chris Voorhees. 

“The site will support both the optimization of ultra-class haul trucks and the full infrastructure associated with diesel-free mobility and the production and distribution of clean energy.”

Anticipated to arrive on site in 2023, the Komatsu 930E-4 ultra-class haul trucks will be retrofitted with hybrid battery and hydrogen fuel cell powerplants. In future phases of work, the company will explore additional uses for its proving grounds, including building out the associated critical mine site infrastructure for battery recharging, hydrogen refueling, and hydrogen production. 

Source: First Mode

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