Toro helping New York state keep its parks on sustainable ground
The project supports New York’s Executive Order 111 to adopt “green and clean” state buildings and vehicles. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is contributing $380,025 toward the project.
In response to the executive order, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation launched an aggressive green parks initiative to support the advancement of hydrogen technology in New York. Selected as a partner, Toro is providing Niagara Falls State Park with three hydrogen-powered utility vehicles based on the Toro Workman chassis.
The project included hydrogen fuel cell vehicles because they generate minimal emissions. Other benefits include:
- Reduced noise pollution.
- Increased machine efficiency over gasoline- or diesel-powered equipment.
- Rapid refueling versus slow recharging of battery-operated equipment.
- Low emissions (fuel cells emit water vapor as a byproduct).
“Toro is very excited to partner with the state of New York on its initiative to adopt clean-energy technologies,” said Dana Lonn, director of Toro’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology. “This project is a logical extension of our strategy and ongoing innovation, and provides us with an opportunity to gain greater operational experience in hydrogen fuel cells.”
Valuable field experience
Through its partnership with the state of New York, Toro is gaining valuable field experience in real-world customer applications such as operation in various climate conditions and terrain. When the partnership was formed in 2007, the utility vehicles were expected to be used by Niagara Falls State Park and Beaver Island State Park and Golf Course to shuttle workers and grounds equipment, drag infields, haul turf materials and assist with refuse and snow removal.
“Through our partnership with Toro, we will be able to put this exciting fuel-cell technology to work,” said Carol Ash, commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “The use of fuel-cell vehicles at these facilities will enhance our operations relating to grounds, turf and refuse and snow removal, as well as highlight our continuing commitment to supporting sustainable energy and green park initiatives throughout our system.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is responsible for implementation of Executive Order 111 across all state agencies, as well as developing innovative solutions to energy and environmental challenges through research and development and energy efficiency projects. To meet production and storage needs, fueling stations are being developed using clean energy from the New York Power Authority’s Niagara hydropower project to produce the hydrogen needed to power the utility vehicles.