Mayor R. Rex Parris of the City of Lancaster visited his “Smart Sister City” counterparts in Namie, Japan this weekend, where the two municipalities engaged in discussions on how to advance a hydrogen-powered future. The cities signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year in which they agreed to exchange best practices around hydrogen innovation.
The two cities have both been recognized as leaders in hydrogen technology, with Lancaster housing hundreds of millions of dollars in clean hydrogen investment and Namie the largest solar-to-hydrogen facility in the world. For Namie, the transition to hydrogen represents not only a step away from fossil fuel power, but also a decisive pivot from nuclear after the town was devastated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Part of Mayor Parris’s visit included laying flowers on the graves of those lost to the disaster.
“This visit to our Sister City of Namie made clear the need to future proof our city’s energy infrastructure, particularly as the specter of climate-caused disaster looms ever larger,” said Mayor Parris. “Upon my return to the City of Lancaster I pledge to work closely with our City Council to ensure that Lancaster is prepared for potential catastrophes as a means of protecting our city’s citizens and future.”
Mayor Parris’s visit also included touring some of Namie’s world-class hydrogen facilities such as the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field, where the mayor exchanged ideas on how to advance this fuel of the future. The trip was capped with a traditional Samurai ceremony, in which Mayor Parris was placed in traditional Samurai attire.
“I came to Namie to learn about hydrogen, but I am walking away with so much more. Let our cities be an example of what can be achieved when we come together to create future-looking solutions that serve us all. I thank the city of Namie for these lessons, and for their generosity of time and spirit.”
Mayor Parris’s visit to Namie was part of a larger trip to Japan, where he presented on Lancaster’s clean energy trajectory at World Smart Energy Week in Tokyo.
SOURCE City of Lancaster, California
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