Delaware City Council has approved the permanent installation of an above-ground hydrogen storage tank at the Kroger Distribution Center.
“It is our largest single building footprint in the city, and it’s one of our largest employers,” said David Efland, the city’s planning and community development director. “It has a small army of people in there who use forklifts and various apparatus.”
The storage tank would store liquid hydrogen used to charge fuel cells for those forklifts and other loading equipment. It would have four dispensing areas.
Previously, Kroger had temporary storage of above-ground hydrogen fuel tanks at the 162-acre center, 2000 Nutter Lane (off routes 36/37 and Davidson Lane).
“This was effectively a test of this new fuel source for Kroger’s purposes at this location, which has proved successful, cost-efficient, and more environmentally friendly than other power sources,” said the city’s fact sheet on the project.
The 15,150-gallon tank would be installed at the southern portion of the property adjacent to the employee parking lot; and 327 feet from the nearest property line to the south.
“Staff from multiple departments including the fire department met with the applicant to review the proposal and all are in general support of the proposal,” the fact sheet said.
Kroger representatives told council this was the fifth tank to be installed at one of their distribution centers, and there was no way they knew of for the tank to explode.
Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the installation, since the tank exceeds 2,000 gallons. The legislation had four conditions:
• No additional outdoor storage shall be permitted on the subject parcel.
• No additional above-ground storage tanks shall be permitted, that does not comply with conditional use permit regulations.
• The above-ground storage tank shall be no larger than 15,150 gallons.
• The above-ground storage tank shall achieve compliance with all state and national fire code regulations.”
A public hearing was held prior to council’s vote on Aug. 24, but no one spoke in favor of or against the storage tank.
The 865,414 square-foot distribution center was initially approved in 2002.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.