The station, a joint venture of SMUD, BP, Ford Motor Company and the U.S. Department of Energy, is designed to demonstrate fuel cell electric vehicles and the generation of hydrogen from alternative resources.
The station produces hydrogen using power from the large solar panels. The solar panels generate electricity and an "electrolyzer" uses that energy to separate water into hydrogen to make clean fuel for powering the vehicles.
The hydrogen will be used in SMUD's own fuel-cell vehicles and similar vehicles owned by others.
The solar panels produce 80 kilowatts of electricity, equivalent to what is needed to power about 40 single-family homes, or enough hydrogen for about 14 fuel-cell vehicles.