CP: Red Locomotives, Green Mindset

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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As part of ongoing sustainability initiatives, Canadian Pacific has launched a web-based carbon emissions calculator and awarded a contract for two hydrogen production and refueling facilities to support its HFC (hydrogen fuel cell) road locomotive program.

The carbon emissions calculator “gives customers greater insight into the carbon footprint of its freight rail transportation services,” CP said. “The tool enables complex, tailored emissions calculations and incorporates customer-specific shipping details to calculate route and commodity-specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.. It allows CP’s customers to explore the impacts of their own emissions footprint and make decisions to reduce freight transportation emissions by choosing the lowest carbon-emitting mode of transportation. The tool provides additional insights into the climate-related benefits of shipping freight with CP’s rail services, an overview of lifecycle emissions from logistics services and a comparison of CP’s rail services to long-haul trucking alternatives.”

As part of its Climate Strategy, CP noted it “focuses on operational efficiency and performance improvement, working diligently to optimize energy consumption and reduce costs. CP recognizes that its ability to influence GHG emission reductions extends beyond its operations and across its suppliers and value chain network. The carbon emissions calculator provides a framework to engage across the value chain to identify and collaborate on opportunities to reduce GHG emissions within supply chains.

“CP recognizes that collective action to decarbonize needs to continue during the coming decades and is proud to take a leadership role in the freight transportation sector’s ongoing efforts to reduce its collective environmental impact. Sharing insights and experiences with external stakeholders will add further value to CP’s climate programs and support collaboration and innovation that will benefit the broader transportation industry.”

“CP is committed to operating sustainably and being part of the solution in the transition to a less carbon intensive economy in North America,” said Keith Creel, CP President and CEO, Railway Age’s 2022 Co-Railroader of the Year (with Kansas City Southern President and CEO Pat Ottensmeyer). “We are pleased to provide customers with a tool that allows them to better understand the carbon footprint associated with their shipping options and make informed choices that benefit the environment.”

HFC Facilities

WSP will design two hydrogen production and refueling facilities for construction in Calgary and Edmonton to support Canadian Pacific’s HFC program. With $15 million in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), CP announced in 2021 that it had expanded this program to include installation of the facilities to refuel three locomotives. CP subsequently awarded the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services contract to ATCO Group. In turn, ATCO awarded the design contract to WSP.

The hydrogen infrastructure at each CP site will include a 1-MW electrolyzer, compression, storage and dispensing for locomotive refueling. In Calgary, the electrolyzer will be partly powered by renewable electricity, provided by an existing 5-MW solar power facility at CP  headquarters. The linehaul locomotives, designated H20ELs, will use Ballard Power Systems fuel cells.

“Low-carbon-intensity hydrogen has the potential to be an integral part of Canada’s clean energy mix in the decades ahead,” said WSP Executive Vice President Energy, Resources and Industry Satvinder Flore. “Our team is proud to play an important role in Canada’s transition to a low-emission economy.”

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