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Fort Sumter may switch to solar, hydrogen fuel cell power supply

When Confederate forces bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor and ignited the Civil War in April 1861, the then-three-story federal garrison used candles or oil lamps for lighting.

In 1899, the war-scarred fortress started producing its own power via an electric plant on-site.

In 1960, South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. became the primary power provider after it ran an underground power line from James Island to operate the air-conditioning and lighting systems in the fort’s museum and office.



A visitor reads a placard at the Fort Sumter National Monument in the Charleston Harbor, which soon may get its power from solar panels, with a hydrogen fuel cell backup system.

Now the national historic monument wants to cut the cord and become self-sufficient again.

A study is under way to determine if solar panels and a hydrogen fuel-cell backup power system can be installed in such a way that they will not intrude on the fort’s historic integrity.

If all goes as planned, the new energy-producing systems will be in place as early as next summer, a few short months after the 150th anniversary of the structure’s pivotal place in American history. The fort could even produce excess electricity to sell back to SCE&G.

“It’s a first as far as we know,” said Sandy Pusey, acting facility manager at Fort Sumter National Monument.

The combined technologies have been incorporated in military facilities, and solar panels have been installed in large, open National Park Service areas where they were unobtrusive, but they have never been placed on an isolated historic site where their presence has to be balanced with history, Pusey said.

The $1.4 million federally and state-funded project, which captures sunlight to power the fort and uses hydrogen fuel cells as a backup instead of the diesel-electric generator now on site, could save the National Park Service about $10,000 a year in conventional power costs and cut 86,000 kilowatt hours each year from the electric grid, or enough to power about seven homes.

“The beauty of the Fort Sumter location is that the electric power demands are not significant,” said Russ Keller, vice president of the S.C. Research Authority who has been working on the project for about four years. “If you were trying to power a large building, you wouldn’t have enough land space.”

Who’s involved?

The off-the-grid project at Fort Sumter is part of the Energy SmartPARKS program launched in 2008 to showcase sustainable energy practices in national parks and inspire a green energy future for America. It also is a joint venture between the U.S. departments of Energy, Defense and the Interior along with the National Park Service, Fort Sumter National Monument, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, S.C. Research Authority and the Center for Hydrogen Research.

While energy-efficiency is part of the goal, it’s not the only one.

“This is a demonstration project in a highly visible location to show the American people that this is doable,” Fort Sumter Park superintendent Bob Dodson said.

Critical to the plan’s success will be where the solar panels are placed.

They can’t be attached to the remains of the historic structure, so officials are looking at the dock or the roof of the museum as possibilities.

“We want to make sure we can install the solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells in an appropriate way as not to interfere with the historic nature of the whole structure,” Pusey said.

A feasibility study will be completed by year’s end, and securing the parts and installation should be finished by early fall of 2011 at the latest.

November 12, 2010 - 12:46 PM No Comments

Netherlands. Alewijnse Marine Systems Nico van der Hoeven wins VNSI Timmers Award for work on fuel cell boat

On Wednesday 10th of November the fifth edition of the Maritime Awards Gala took place at the Amsterdam Convention Factory. The audience was filled with top managers from across the Dutch maritime industry as well as government delegates, politicians and members of the press. At the event, the prestigious VNSI Timmers Award 2010 for young maritime designers was awarded to Nico van der Hoeven from Alewijnse Marine Technology B.V. based at Nijmegen in the Netherlands. To enthusiastic applause Nico accepted the award and the cheque that went with it from Ms Karla Peijs, Royal Commissioner for the province of Zeeland.

Nico works as a systems engineer within Alewijnse Marine Systems for the company’s dedicated research and development department Alewijnse Marine Technology B.V., and was nominated during the Designers Congress held in June this year at the Ship Simulator Centre of STC Rotterdam for his exceptional work and display of technical skill on the development of the automation system for the ground-breaking fuel cell boat project.

Called H2 Nemo, the fuel cell boat is a canal trip vessel capable of carrying 90 passengers and built for the Lovers Shipping Company. It is now operational on the waterways of Amsterdam and is powered entirely by hydrogen. The hydrogen is converted by fuel cells into electricity which is then used to power the motors, making the boat entirely emissions free. For optimal efficiency the boat requires a sophisticated monitoring and automation system to manage the fuel consumption and cooling, and alert the captain should any issues arise. It is for his work on this project that Nico received the VNSI Timmers Award 2010.

November 11, 2010 - 5:17 PM No Comments

FuelCell Energy Power Plant to Provide Renewable Baseload Electricity for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facility

1.4 Megawatt DFC1500 to Operate on Renewable Biogas, Helping Client Attain Sustainability Goals

DANBURY, Conn. — FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL ) a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean high efficiency power plants using renewable and other fuels for commercial, industrial, government, and utility clients, today announced the sale of a 1.4 megawatt (MW) DFC1500 power plant to be installed at the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant in San Jose, California. UTS Bioenergy LLC will purchase the DFC1500 and sell the power generated to the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant under a 20-year power purchase agreement. FuelCell Energy will service the power plant under a long term service agreement and the unit is expected to be operational in early 2012.

“The Environmental Protection Agency recently acknowledged our Plant as one of the nation’s top facilities for producing and using renewable energy on-site — about two-thirds of the energy used by our 11 megawatt facility comes from methane derived from digester and landfill processes. We want to operate as much as possible on clean, sustainably-produced electricity, and adding this fuel cell generated power to our energy portfolio will help us do that,” said Dale Ihrke, Plant Manager. “We’re also getting the fuel cell generated power at a reasonable, known price over the 20-year term, helping to remove uncertainty in future power costs. And because fuel cells produce clean energy with minimal air permit requirements, we’ve significantly reduced regulatory uncertainty compared to other power generation options. ”

Fuel cells that operate on biogas such as the methane generated by the wastewater treatment process are renewable. Unlike wind and solar, DFC fuel cells deliver baseload power around-the-clock, which is critical to the operation of a wastewater treatment plant. This distributed generation attribute of fuel cells reduces reliance on the transmission grid.

Clean electricity is generated within the fuel cell by an electrochemical reaction that does not involve combustion. Due to the lack of combustion, virtually no pollutants are emitted such as NOx, SOx or particulate matter. The primary byproducts of this clean power generation process are high-quality heat and water. This ultra-clean power generation will help the San Jose/Santa Clara wastewater facility reach its sustainability goals.

When utilizing the byproduct heat from the fuel cell electrical generation process, fuel cells can achieve up to 90 percent efficiency. High efficiency results in lower energy costs as the fuel cell generates more electricity per unit of fuel than less efficient combustion based power sources. The byproduct heat for this fuel cell installation will be utilized for the wastewater treatment process.

“Fuel cells offer reliable baseload power and their ability to operate on renewable biogas offers real value to wastewater treatment plants,” said Arun Sharma, Vice President Business Development, UTS BioEnergy LLC. “Our customer had demanding requirements to obtain clean and reliable power at competitive costs. DFC power plants are the solution for meeting challenging power generation requirements.”

“Wastewater treatment plants represent an excellent application of our clean, efficient and dependable fuel cell power plants,” said Chip Bottone, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc.

This project is eligible for a grant under the California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The SGIP promotes the installation of clean distributed power generation sources.

The San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant is the largest advanced wastewater treatment facility in the Western U.S., treating the wastewater from 1.4 million people and 17,000 businesses within an eight-city service area.

UTS BioEnergy LLC develops, owns and operates alternative energy projects with a specialty on biogas production and conversion to electricity and heat. The Company, based in Encinitas, California, has extensive experience transforming a variety of waste streams into energy in a cost effective manner.

About FuelCell Energy

DFC(R) fuel cells are generating power at over 50 locations worldwide. The Company’s power plants have generated over 600 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable wastewater gas, biogas from beer and food processing, as well as natural gas and other hydrocarbon fuels. FuelCell Energy has partnerships with major power plant developers and power companies around the world. The Company also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies for the development of leading edge technologies such as fuel cells. For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com

November 11, 2010 - 10:00 AM No Comments

Hydrogen highway gets new stop in Surrey

A new hydrogen fueling station now open in Surrey is powering up hopes the alternative fuel may run everything from cars to trains down the road.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said the new station, in the city’s operations works yard at 66 Avenue and 148 Street, lays the groundwork for greater use of hydrogen fuel in the future and will help the municipality meet its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

“As we move away from fossil fuels, we have to look at other alternatives for clean energy,” Watts said. “We’ll be testing the technology.”

Surrey is using two of just a handful of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell cars in use in the Lower Mainland but could get more through a partnership with PowerTech Labs.

The city aims to add 21 alternative fuel vehicles to its municipal fleet over the next year.

The station is the first in Canada to be run by a municipality, although there is one other hydrogen fuel station already in Surrey at Powertech (88th Avenue and 123 Street) and five others in Burnaby (Ballard Fuel), North Vancouver, UBC, Whistler and Vancouver Airport.

The two Surrey stations reinforce the city’s position as a leader in the technology, Watts said.

Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association consultant Ron Harmer said significant numbers of hydrogen-powered cars will start to hit the consumer market by 2015.

Adding another fueling station is important, he said, because car companies like Nissan, Daimler and Toyota that will roll out more hydrogen vehicles will look first to cities and regions with adequate infrastructure.

The hydrogen for the new Surrey station comes from Powertech’s existing Surrey plant, where the B.C. Hydro subsidiary electrolyzes water into hydrogen.

Because the hydrogen is made in Surrey, it’s counted as cleaner than the hydrogen powering Whistler’s fleet of hydrogen buses, which has to be trucked in from Quebec because of the larger volumes required.

A much bigger and greener local source of the fuel could come on stream.

Large amounts of hydrogen created as an industrial byproduct at a chemical plant in North Vancouver and now vented into the air may be trapped and collected in the future.

“There’s enough hydrogen there to fuel something like 20,000 vehicles per year,” Harmer said.

“If we’re actually producing it ourselves locally from a waste stream, this is a very cost-effective and clean energy source,” added Surrey transportation advocate Peter Holt. “It’s not pie in the sky any more.”

Holt, a director of the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, thinks hydrogen pumped from the Surrey stations could even fuel the heritage train the society plans to launch on the former Interurban rail route next year.

The demonstration project will test a route from Cloverdale to Sullivan (152 Street and 64 Avenue) but Holt said the restored Interurban rail car to be used can run beyond Surrey, on any rail track in the region.

“We can go anywhere there’s a track,” he said.

November 11, 2010 - 9:36 AM No Comments

Maine to get fuel-cell station

Greater Portland will become the northern end of an evolving “hydrogen highway” along the East Coast if a Connecticut company moves ahead with plans to build a filling station here for a coming generation of fuel-cell-powered electric vehicles.

The station would be built in the next two years by SunHydro of Wallingford, Conn., and would use on-site solar panels and water to produce hydrogen. The first station using the technology opened last month in Wallingford, at Proton Energy Systems, an affiliate of SunHydro. A second station is planned for Braintree, Mass.

SunHydro has proposed an initial network of nine hydrogen service stations along Interstate 95 from Portland to Miami. It would be the world’s first chain of privately funded stations for fuel-cell powered cars and trucks, the company says.

On Tuesday, a representative from Proton Energy Systems will be in Portland to explain details of the venture to business people and residents. The free session is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., in Room 109 of the Abromson Community Center at the University of Southern Maine.

The presentation is being organized by the Portland-based Hydrogen Energy Center, which has worked with SunHydro and Proton to establish a station in Maine. A site hasn’t been chosen yet, according to the center. One consideration is having an adequate space with a south-facing exposure for the solar panels.

Fuel-cell vehicles run on electricity produced from hydrogen gas and emit only water vapor. The key is producing the gas by separating water molecules, which typically is done with electricity generated by natural gas. Proton manufactures an electrolysis system that it sells commercially, and it has adapted the equipment to make hydrogen at the filling stations primarily with sunlight.

Environmentalists have dreamed for decades about shifting the world’s motor vehicles from gasoline, which causes pollution, to hydrogen produced by renewable energy. The concept has moved closer to reality in recent years, as car makers such as Honda and General Motors have begun building prototypes of fuel-cell cars.

Toyota, for instance, has made 10 Highlanders available for use at the station in Wallingford.

The transition to hydrogen faces challenges, however. Fuel-cell vehicles are too expensive now to build for the retail market; and an alternative vision, for plug-in battery-electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, is farther along in commercial production and consumer acceptance.

Another obstacle is a chicken-and-egg problem. Car makers are reluctant to build large quantities of fuel-cell cars without convenient places to fuel them. Developers of those stations need greater vehicle demand to make an investment.

That situation has slowed the pace of California’s hydrogen highway, championed by outgoing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state planned 100 stations by the end of this year; only 31 are built or under construction.

SunHydro may stand a better chance of building its network. The East Coast stations would be financed privately by SunHydro’s wealthy owner, Tom Sullivan, founder of the successful Lumber Liquidators flooring chain, which has a store in Scarborough.

“Most everything done until now has been a demonstration project,” said Rick Smith, president of the Hydrogen Energy Center. “This is private money, with a goal to use the technology in day-to-day business. That’s a huge change.”

Each station is expected to cost $2 million to $3 million. To run a viable station in Greater Portland, Smith said, SunHydro will look for a local company that could operate a half-dozen or so fuel-cell vehicles.

“You don’t need much of a fleet to support a small fill station,” he said.

Other participants could get involved over time, said Gary Higginbottom, a director of the hydrogen center.

Hydrogen-powered buses shuttled around British Columbia during the Olympics last winter, he noted, and transportation planners in Portland envision the city’s bus fleet running on fuel cells some day.

There’s also interest at Quirk Chevrolet, which has been bringing a fuel-cell-powered Chevrolet Equinox to Maine for demonstration drives. General Motors plans to begin selling fuel-cell cars in 2015.

Smith and Higginbottom hope that awareness of transportation alternatives will lead to a strong turnout at Tuesday’s event.

“If we can get the infrastructure and one or two small fleets involved, then we’re moving ahead,” Higginbottom said.

November 11, 2010 - 6:45 AM No Comments

EERC scales up hydrogen fueling system


The EERC is scaling up its on-demand hydrogen fueling system for fuel cell vehicles and industrial applications. The system, designed and built with a variety of private sector partners, will be capable of full integration with existing gas station infrastructure, making refueling a fuel cell automobile as easy as refueling a combustion engine-powered car.

The system can produce high-purity, high-pressure hydrogen from a variety of hydrocarbon feedstocks, including alcohols and petroleum-based fuels such as military jet fuel. The technology operates at high pressure and mixes water into the hydrocarbon feedstock to increase hydrogen yield. The process occurs in two steps. First, in the reformation step, a high-pressure, H2-rich gas is produced from the pressurized liquid feedstock. Next, in the purification step, the high-pressure gas is stripped of impurities, in particular CO2, to yield greater than 99.9% pure H2 at high pressure.

This EERC hydrogen on-demand technology overcomes the infrastructure challenges associated with competing technologies by minimizing or eliminating hydrogen compression, storage, and transport. With the EERC technology, the hydrogen can be produced on-site at the gas station or on the battlefield, as needed, rather than being compressed and then shipped from a separate location. This EERC Foundation patented technology is moving toward commercial deployment.

“This state-of-the-art process has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of a new nationwide H2 production and distribution infrastructure, so that H2 refueling will be accessible and affordable,” said Ted Aulich, EERC Senior Research Manager.

November 10, 2010 - 1:54 PM No Comments

New Highly Stable Fuel-Cell Catalyst Gets Strength from its Nano Core

Palladium core protects precious platinum; enhances reactivity/stability


This high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) image shows a bright shell on a relatively darker nanoparticle, signifying the formation of a core/shell structure — a platinum monolayer shell on a palladium nanoparticle core.

UPTON, NY — Stop-and-go driving can wear on your nerves, but it really does a number on the precious platinum that drives reactions in automotive fuel cells. Before large fleets of fuel-cell-powered vehicles can hit the road, scientists will have to find a way to protect the platinum, the most expensive component of fuel-cell technology, and to reduce the amount needed to make catalytically active electrodes.

Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new electrocatalyst that uses a single layer of platinum and minimizes its wear and tear while maintaining high levels of reactivity during tests that mimic stop-and-go driving. The research — described online in Angewandte Chemie, International Edition, and identified by the journal as a “very important paper” — may greatly enhance the practicality of fuel-cell vehicles and may also be applicable for improving the performance of other metallic catalysts.

The newly designed catalysts are composed of a single layer of platinum over a palladium (or palladium-gold alloy) nanoparticle core. Their structural characterization was performed at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials and the National Synchrotron Light Source.

“Our studies of the structure and activity of this catalyst — and comparisons with platinum-carbon catalysts currently in use — illustrate that the palladium core ‘protects’ the fine layer of platinum surrounding the particles, enabling it to maintain reactivity for a much longer period of time,” explained Brookhaven Lab chemist Radoslav Adzic, who leads the research team.

In conventional fuel-cell catalysts, the oxidation and reduction cycling — triggered by changes in voltage that occur during stop-and-go driving — damages the platinum. Over time, the platinum dissolves, causing irreversible damage to the fuel cell.

In the new catalyst, palladium from the core is more reactive than platinum in these oxidation and reduction reactions. Stability tests simulating fuel cell voltage cycling revealed that, after 100,000 potential cycles, a significant amount of palladium had been oxidized, dissolved, and migrated away from the cathode. In the membrane between the cathode and anode, the dissolved palladium ions were reduced by hydrogen diffusing from the anode to form a “band,” or dots.

In contrast, platinum was almost unaffected, except for a small contraction of the platinum monolayer. “This contraction of the platinum lattice makes the catalyst more active and the stability of the particles increases,” Adzic said.

Reactivity of the platinum monolayer/palladium core catalyst also remained extremely high. It was reduced by merely 37 percent after 100,000 cycles.

Building on earlier work that illustrated how small amounts of gold can enhance catalytic activity, the scientists also developed a form of the platinum monolayer catalyst with a palladium-gold alloy core. The addition of gold further increased the stability of the electrocatalyst, which retained nearly 70 percent of reactivity after 200,000 cycles of testing.

“This indicates the excellent durability of this electrocatalyst, especially when compared with simpler platinum-carbon catalysts, which lose nearly 70 percent of their reactivity after much shorter cycling times. This level of activity and stability indicates that this is a practical catalyst. It exceeds the goal set by DOE for 2010-2015 and it can be used for automotive applications,” Adzic said.

He noted that fuel cells made using the new catalyst would require only about 10 grams of platinum per car — and less than 20 grams of palladium. Currently, in catalytic convertors used to treat exhaust gases, 5 to 10 grams of platinum is used. Since fuel-cell-powered cars would emit no exhaust gases, there would be no need for such catalytic converters, and therefore no net increase in the amount of platinum used.

“In addition to developing electrocatalysts for automotive fuel cell applications, these findings indicate the broad applicability of platinum monolayer catalysts and the possibility of extending this concept to catalysts based on other noble metals,” Adzic said.

The fundamental science leading to the development of the new electrocatalyst and early scale-up work was funded by the DOE Office of Science. Additional funding came from the Toyota Motor Corporation.

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory is one of the fiveDOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs), premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories.

November 10, 2010 - 11:14 AM No Comments

Surrey to become a first in providing hydrogen fuel

SURREY (NEWS1130) – Surrey will become the only city in Canada to run a hydrogen fuelling station. It’s needed to fuel up a new fleet of 21 zero-emission vehicles to come on line in the next nine months.

Mayor Dianne Watts will unveil the station Wednesday morning at the city’s operations works yard on 148 St. The city aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

November 10, 2010 - 11:07 AM No Comments

Adaptive Materials Awarded $1 Million for Army Fuel Cell Manufacturing Research

ANN ARBOR, MICH. – NOVEMBER 9, 2010 – Adaptive Materials, the propane-powered fuel cell company, was recently awarded $1 million to conduct a manufacturing research project for the U.S. Army.  The focus of Adaptive Materials work will be on determining the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing fuel cell components for use in the Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS).

“Adaptive Materials is becoming known for its expertise in manufacturing fuel cells that are field-ready for use by our armed forces,” said Michelle Crumm, Adaptive Materials chief business officer.  “Adaptive Materials will use this funding to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing fuel cell filters.  By drilling deeper into the logistics of manufacturing fuel cell systems, we are moving forward in putting portable power into the hands of our soldiers in the field.”

The MTRS program fields the iRobot Packbot and the Foster-Miller Talon to support the warfighter in performing reconnaissance, surveillance, and counter-IED missions. Propane fuel cell power systems allows these robots to operate for up to 20 times longer than they can with batteries.

In the battlefield, fuel cell equipped robots help to keep soldiers safe by minimizing their exposure to hostile action.

Funding for Adaptive Materials was awarded through the Industrial Base Innovation Fund, a Defense Logistics Agencies program that supports manufacturing technology for military applications.  Adaptive Materials was one of 21 companies selected for funding through the IBIF program.

To date, in 2010, Adaptive Materials has been awarded $11.9 million in federal funding.

November 9, 2010 - 6:23 PM No Comments

Leading US Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Organization Applauds New Study on Commercial Viability of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

McKinsey & Company Study Says Technology Is Ready for Commercial Ramp-Up; Hydrogen Infrastructure Costs Comparable to Electrical Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC–A comprehensive new study entitled “A Portfolio of Power-trains: A Fact Based Analysis” concludes fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are ready for commercial scale-up, and essential to meeting our energy security and environmental needs. The report was released in Brussels Monday, November 8.

The analysis by the respected international consulting firm McKinsey & Company — sponsored by a 31-member public-private coalition — states that significant penetration of both fuel cell and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be needed to build a sustainable transportation system by 2050 — and that FCEVs and BEVs could be cost-competitive with internal combustion engines (ICEs) as early as 2020.

The study also concludes that costs for a hydrogen infrastructure are comparable to installing a charging infrastructure for battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The report finds that a dedicated hydrogen infrastructure is “justified and doable.” McKinsey called the initial infrastructure investment “relatively low.”

The study is available at http://www.europeanclimate.org/documents/Power_trains_for_Europe.pdf

“This highly detailed analysis confirms the value of fuel cell EVs in our national clean energy portfolio,” said Ruth Cox, president and executive director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. ”Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles are ready for commercial scale-up. FCEVs are the best EV option for longer trips, and for medium size and larger vehicles, where they can be cost-competitive with ICEs. Compared to BEVs, they have inherent advantages in price-performance and range; refueling time is measured in minutes rather than hours.”

FCEVs received high marks in all three categories analysed in the report: performance, economics and environment. In terms of infrastructure, the study said higher risk investments by first-movers can be greatly reduced when several companies invest, coordinated by governments, and supported by dedicated funding and legislation.

“The data are fresh, the evidence is abundant and the conclusions are emphatic,” said Cox. “It is time for a shift in U.S. Energy Policy to align the U.S. with the rest of the world in pursuing the full portfolio of electric vehicles. The portfolio approach is the fastest, cheapest and smartest way to achieve energy independence and respond to climate change.”

The study warns that government action and investment must begin now, “as a matter of urgency,” if G8 policy goals are to be met by 2050.

“While the analysis focuses on Europe, the technology and cost assessment is applicable worldwide,” Cox said. ”The policy conclusions are relevant to the United States as the U.S. has even more medium and large vehicles than Europe, and we drive our cars longer distances. The study’s findings reinforce the conclusions of our members who are committed to the commercial rollout of these vital technologies.”

Similar analyses done in the U.S. by the National Academies of Science and other groups over the past few years also back up the McKinsey findings.

About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association

The FCHEA is the world’s premier advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. More information can be found at www.fchea.org.

Sanderson Hull
(206) 660-6805

November 9, 2010 - 3:12 PM No Comments

Plug Power Announces Strategic Arrangement With Somerset Capital Group

LATHAM, N.Y.– Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced that it has developed a strategic arrangement with Somerset Capital Group, Ltd., Milford, CT (”Somerset”) in which Somerset will act as Plug Power’s global customer lease provider for its industry-leading GenDrive TM fuel cell solutions. Plug Power’s GenDrive TM systems are a superior solution to lead-acid batteries in electric lift trucks in the $19.9 billion material handling industry.

Plug Power and Somerset have already executed on marketplace opportunities for Plug Power’s clients, most recently facilitating the placement of hydrogen fuel cells into service at BMW’s South Carolina facility. The companies hope to leverage Somerset’s asset management and international equipment leasingcapabilities to drive further market penetration for Plug Power’s state-of-the-art clean energy solutions.

“Plug Power continues to address all aspects of establishing a commercial and profitable business,” said Gerry Anderson, CFO at Plug Power. “Working closely with a credible leasing partner such as Somerset allows Plug Power to focus on executing sales and delivering product.”

Somerset’s CEO, Evan Bokor, commented, “We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with Plug Power in providing financing solutions for their products. We believe the green energy arena has significant long-term growth opportunities and we are excited about the prospects of assisting visionary companies such as Plug Power in breaking new ground and taking strides towards achieving greater energy independence for our country.”

About Plug Power Inc.

The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for our key accounts, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight. With more than 1,000 units in the field and over 1.5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow’s incumbent power solutions today.

About Somerset Capital Group, Ltd.

Delivering asset management and equipment leasing capabilities to customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, Somerset Capital Group, Ltd. is a leading provider of domestic and international financial services solutions to clients ranging from upper middle-market enterprises to the Fortune 1000 and major multinationals. Evidenced by its decades long customer relationships, Somerset’s service levels, client-focus and global vision continue to exceed the market’s expectations.

November 9, 2010 - 10:20 AM No Comments

Horizon’s Fuel Cell Triples Flight Duration Capability of South Korean Close-Range UAV

Horizon's innovative AEROPAK fuel cell power system triples the flight duration of a Korean close-range UAV - without increasing take-off weight. (Photo: Business Wire)

Horizon's innovative AEROPAK fuel cell power system triples the flight duration of a Korean close-range UAV - without increasing take-off weight. (Photo: Business Wire)

SINGAPORE– The newly developed AEROPAK hydrogen fuel cell power system recently announced by Horizon Energy Systems (HES) of Singapore helped set a new record for electric flight duration – this time in South Korea.

In a pioneering effort led by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and HES, a RemoEye-006 UAV from South Korean manufacturer Uconsystem had its lithium battery pack replaced with Horizon’s standard AEROPAK hydrogen fuel cell system. Named EAV-1, the South Korean UAV took off from KARI’s flight test site at Goheung on October 19. While up to 2 hour flights can be expected using best-in-class battery packs, EAV-1 flew for approximately 5 hours, with additional fuel left over after landing.

“The AEROPAK has proven once again that it is an unparalleled power source for electric flight,” said Gareth Tang, Managing Director of HES. “For the same total mission duration, a mini-UAV now requires less take-offs and landings, effectively prolonging its lifetime or reducing the number of aircraft needed altogether. These are significant cost savings for any operator.”

Designed as a drop-in replacement for lithium-polymer battery packs used in 5-10kg class UAVs, Horizon’s standard first generation AEROPAK is capable of delivering 600W peak power and 900Wh net usable energy, at just less than 2kg total system weight. It uses hot-swappable cartridges that eliminate the need for cumbersome battery chargers and minimize downtime.

With its ability to add superior flight endurance capability, Horizon’s new AEROPAK fuel cell system has taken the international UAV market by storm since its commercial launch in August. “Expect many more fuel cell powered flight announcements from various countries in the coming weeks and months,” declared Gareth Tang, “This is just the beginning.”

November 9, 2010 - 8:00 AM No Comments

Japanese company and a Russian institute will start a feasibility study soon on producing hydrogen through wind-power generation in Sakhalin in Russia’s Far East

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia —A Japanese company and a Russian institute will start a feasibility study soon on producing hydrogen through wind-power generation in Sakhalin in Russia’s Far East for export to Japan.

The Tokyo-based company, where hydrogen researcher Yasukazu Saito, honorary professor at the University of Tokyo, serves as a board member, and the Vladivostok-based Far Eastern Center for Strategic Research on Fuel and Energy Complex Development are expected to establish a joint venture for the project possibly by the middle of 2013.

Hydrogen demand is expected to rise in Japan with the spread of environmentally friendly fuel cells to power vehicles and household products. A fuel cell generates electricity through chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen without emitting carbon dioxide, a source of global warming.

The Japanese company and Russian institute signed a memorandum Oct 19 on the feasibility study. They will aim at stable hydrogen supplies to Japan from neighboring Sakhalin.

Under the project, a wind power plant will be built in southern Sakhalin and hydrogen will be produced from water through electrolysis using power generated by the wind farm. The hydrogen will be converted into organic hydride, a hydrogen carrier, for shipment to Japan by tanker.

November 9, 2010 - 7:09 AM No Comments

OriginOil Achieves Hydrogen Production Comparable To Photovoltaics

LOS ANGELES–OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, today announced that it has succeeded in producing hydrogen from the power of the sun at a level comparable to solar photovoltaics. The research breakthrough points to a highly scalable and renewable source of hydrogen that can be deployed as an additional system output in algae production settings.

To achieve this breakthrough, OriginOil researchers built a pared-down version of the company’s Hydrogen Harvester™ and tested many process variables and materials. They achieved hydrogen energy corresponding to a solar energy conversion efficiency of about 12 percent continuously for several hours on a partially clouded day. The sole energy input was the Sun. By comparison, commercial solar cells achieve conversion efficiencies between six and 20 percent.

Brian Goodall, OriginOil’s CTO, said: “Our experiments clearly demonstrate that this technology can generate renewable hydrogen at rates that matter to the global economy. These early rates compare well with those of the more mature solar cell industry, with the added benefit that the fuel, hydrogen, is readily storable. This is the first renewable source for today’s $39 billion hydrogen market.”

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), “Efficient photoelectrochemical hydrogen production is a holy grail of renewable hydrogen production.”

OriginOil intends the Hydrogen Harvester™ to be deployed as an additional system output in algae production settings. In the field, efficiency may be lower than the 12 percent OriginOil has achieved in the research system. However, there is a counterbalancing factor: algae stores up energy during the day and will continue to generate hydrogen throughout the night.

As an added benefit, an algae production facility operating a Hydrogen Harvester™ can become self-sufficient for refining, since it will not be dependent on petroleum industry sources for hydrogen. Conversely, an algae facility’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide in great quantities can make a Hydrogen Harvester very attractive for a CO2-emitting conventional refinery.

Hydrogen has often been called the perfect fuel. Its major reserve on earth (water) is inexhaustible, meaning that we will never run out of hydrogen. If produced cleanly, efficiently and affordably from renewable resources, hydrogen is the ultimate green energy solution: it produces no air pollutants or greenhouse gases when used in fuel cells and the only pollutants generated when burned in internal combustion engines are nitrogen oxides (NOx).

About OriginOil, Inc. (web address: www.originoil.com)

OriginOil, Inc. is developing a breakthrough technology that will transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum. Much of the world’s oil and gas is made up of ancient algae deposits. Today, our technology will produce “new oil” from algae, through a cost-effective, high-speed manufacturing process. This endless supply of new oil can be used for many products, such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, plastics and solvents, without the global warming effects of petroleum. Other oil-producing feedstock, such as corn and sugarcane, often destroy vital farmlands and rainforests, disrupt global food supplies and create new environmental problems. Our unique technology, based on algae, is targeted at fundamentally changing our source of oil without disrupting the environment or food supplies. To learn more about OriginOil™, please visit our website at www.originoil.com.

November 9, 2010 - 6:17 AM No Comments

FuelCell Energy Announces Largest Renewable Biogas Wastewater Treatment Installation for a Direct FuelCell(R) Power Plant

2.8 Megawatt DFC3000 Ultra-Clean Power Generation Solves Clean Air Permitting Issues

DANBURY, Conn. — FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL) a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean high efficiency power plants using renewable and other fuels for commercial, industrial, government, and utility clients, today announced the sale of a 2.8 megawatt (MW) DFC3000 power plant to be installed at a wastewater treatment plant operated by Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), a municipal water district based in Chino, California. Renewable biogas created by the wastewater treatment process will be the primary fuel source for the generation of ultra-clean electricity. UTS Bioenergy LLC will purchase the DFC3000 and sell the power generated to IEUA under a 20 year power purchase agreement. FuelCell Energy will service the power plant under a long term service agreement and the unit is expected to be operational in early 2012.

“Installation of this fuel cell operating on renewable biogas is an important component of our renewable energy generation strategy,” said Terry Catlin, Board President, Inland Empire Utilities Agency. “The clean electrical generation process and the reliable 24/7 operating nature of the fuel cell will help us attain the objectives of our strategic energy plan and position us to meet ever more stringent clean air emission requirements.”

This distributed generation fuel cell helps the IEUA reach its goal of generating all of their power needs on-site in a renewable manner and reducing reliance on the electric grid.

Fuel cells use an electrochemical process to efficiently generate clean electricity, without combustion. The primary byproducts of this process are high-quality heat and water. The lack of combustion eliminates almost all pollutants such as NOx, SOx or particulate matter. The fuel cell power plant will replace existing internal-combustion engines so the clean power generation will help IEUA meet the stringent emission regulations issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the local air pollution control agency. This reduction in pollutants is equivalent to removing at least 353 cars from the road.

Fuel cells are highly efficient and can achieve efficiencies up to 90 percent when byproduct heat is utilized. The byproduct heat from this power plant will be used to help create the renewable biogas by heating the anaerobic digesters that produce the biogas. High efficiency decreases energy costs and provides more electrical output from the same amount of biogas than less efficient alternatives.

“Fuel cells represent an economically and environmentally compelling solution for converting renewable waste streams into clean electricity,” said Arun Sharma, Vice President Business Development, UTS BioEnergy LLC. “We believe fuel cells are a critical component of improving the reliability and efficiency of power supplies and expect to replicate this fuel cell business model with other power users that have baseload 24/7 energy requirements.”

“Clean, efficient and dependable fuel cell power generation offers our clients a cost effective path to address their strategic energy goals and environmental stewardship simultaneously,” said Chip Bottone, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc.

This project is eligible for a grant under the California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The SGIP promotes the installation of clean distributed generation power sources.

IEUA, formed in 1950, is a municipal water district located in western San Bernardino County, California. IEUA’s mission is to supply imported drinking water, collect and treat wastewater, produce beneficially reusable compost and high quality recycled water to the 850,000 residents living within its 242-square miles service area.

UTS BioEnergy LLC develops, owns and operates alternative energy projects with a specialty on biogas production and conversion to electricity and heat. The Company, based in Encinitas, California, has extensive experience transforming a variety of waste streams into energy in a cost effective manner.

About FuelCell Energy

DFC(R) fuel cells are generating power at over 50 locations worldwide. The Company’s power plants have generated over 600 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable wastewater gas, biogas from beer and food processing, as well as natural gas and other hydrocarbon fuels. FuelCell Energy has partnerships with major power plant developers and power companies around the world. The Company also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies for the development of leading edge technologies such as fuel cells. For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com

November 8, 2010 - 11:10 AM No Comments

Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid will enter service next year in the CHIC project

Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid in operation

Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid in operation

  • Decisive step for the widespread commercialisation of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell buses
  • Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid
The CHIC (Clean Hydrogen in European Cities) project got underway in Cologne on 4 November. The project funded by the EU will permit the integration of 26 fuel-cell buses into daily regular services in five European cities. At least three manufacturers – Mercedes-Benz, Van Hool and Wrightbus – will be supplying fuel-cell hybrid vehicles in this project.
The project is based on a gradual introduction of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell buses and aims to set up bus fleets with fuel-cell vehicles and the necessary infrastructure. The vehicles will go into service in Aarau, Bolzano, Milan, London and Oslo. Experience will also be leveraged from ongoing projects in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Whistler (Canada) – cities that, among other things, have already been involved in successful previous CUTE and HyFLEET:CUTE projects run between 2003 and 2009. The experience garnered in the project should support and guide 14 regions in Europe through the next stage, as they start setting up fuel-cell fleets and the corresponding infrastructure.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid made its debut in Hamburg in November 2009. The latest-generation fuel-cell hybrid bus boasts all-round environmental compatibility: it generates zero emissions and virtually no noise. As such, the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is ideally suited for operations in congested inner cities and metropolitan areas.
Thanks to improved fuel-cell components and hybridisation with lithium-ion batteries, the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid consumes almost 50 percent less hydrogen than the previous generation. The fuel-cell bus has a range of around 250 kilometres. The drive system with fuel cell is virtually maintenance-free and boasts a long service life.
Daimler will use the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid as part of its involvement in a large-scale fleet trial in the CHIC project. The company is following on from the successful European Union CUTE and HyFLEET:CUTE projects, which were implemented between 2003 and 2009. Overall, 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses with a second-generation fuel-cell drive have proven themselves with twelve transport operators on three continents. Having clocked up more than 140,000 operating hours and over 2.2 million kilometres, the Mercedes-Benz buses are testimony to the practicality of the environmentally friendly fuel-cell drive.
The global initiative Shaping Future Transportation consolidates all the activities for sustainable mobility in the Commercial Vehicle Division of Daimler AG. The aim of this initiative is to employ clean and efficient drive systems and alternative fuels to make the zero-emission commercial vehicle of tomorrow a reality. Shaping Future Transportation involves conserving resources, reducing emissions of all types and, at the same time, ensuring the highest possible levels of road safety. In this respect, the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid – developed with support from the European Union – plays an important role.
November 8, 2010 - 9:09 AM No Comments

UK Brighton-London Future Car Challenge features Toyota FCHV-ad and Honda FCX Clarity

The RAC Future Car Challenge is a  new motoring challenge for electric, hybrid and low-emission Cars, LCV’s and Motorcycles to use the lowest energy on a 60 mile route from Madeira Drive, Brighton to Pall Mall and Regent Street, London.
This year the Toyota  FCHV and Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell cars made their debut on UK roads. Both cars should hit the market in 2015.
The Honda and Toyota cars will be also participating in the Drive and Ride of the General Stakeholders Meeting of the EU Joint Undertaking for fuel cells and hydrogen taking place novemebr 9-10 in Brussels; see also under “Events”.
The BBC featured the Honda FCX Clarity in its evening news, pointing however to an unclear market perspective for fuel cell cars: more “clarity” on the market perspectives of fuel cell and other eletric drive trains is anticipated to come out of a McKinsey study that will present its first preliminary results on November 8 in Brussels
November 8, 2010 - 7:17 AM No Comments

Hydrogen car makes a pitstop at Swindon’s Honda factory

By Leigh Robinson

THE world’s first production hydrogen fuel cell car made a pitstop at the Honda factory in Swindon yesterday.

The Honda FCX Clarity pulled up to the factory en route to Brighton for the start of this weekend’s 2010 RAC Future Car Challenge.

The Clarity, regarded as the car of the future, went on display for the day at the manufacturing site where the Honda Jazz, Civic and CR-V models are built and the visit gave the 3,000 Honda workers the opportunity to see the car and experience first hand Honda’s next generation technology.

Sam Tipper of Honda UK’s corporate communications said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to show our Associates Honda’s most exciting and latest technology.”

The FCX Clarity represents the pinnacle of Honda’s research into clean alternative energy vehicles.

It emits only water vapour and showcases more than 20 years of ground-breaking research and innovation that will revolutionise car technology and design. As well as emitting no harmful exhaust gases, the FCX Clarity offers the best clean equivalent of what most of us drive today, including a good driving range of 270 miles, refuelling time of around five minutes and a flexible layout and design.

The FCX Clarity is already being leased in America and Japan where there is an emerging infrastructure to support hydrogen-powered cars.

One famous face who owns a Clarity is the actress Jamie Lee Curtis and she has been driving it for more than a year.

The UK requires the development of similar refuelling stations before the FCX Clarity can be brought commercially to the UK and it will be at least 10 years before the vehicle could be mass produced.

Honda is at the forefront of science and technology and Asimo, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, celebrated its 10th anniversary last week. To mark this special occasion, Honda has launched a dedicated website at http://world.honda.com/ASIMO hosting films and photographs detailing Asimo’s evolution over the past 10 years.

A ‘Run with Asimo’ smartphone and iphone app has also been produced to allow users to interact with a virtual version of the robot on their phone.

Asimo was created 10 years ago as part of Honda’s programme of research and development into robotics and human mobility.

Asimo has lead to breakthroughs in mobility technology, but Honda’s ultimate goal is to develop Asimo into a robot to help people, both by carrying out day to day tasks and by performing work too dangerous for a human, such as firefighting and cleaning up toxic spills.

Honda is now focusing its research on the development of Asimo’s intelligence, as well as exploring the scope for interaction between humans and humanoid robots.

November 6, 2010 - 11:34 AM No Comments

Protonex Names Paul Osenar as President and Chief Executive Officer

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass.–Protonex Technology Corporation, (“Protonex” or “the Company”), a leading provider of advanced fuel cell power systems, today announces that it has named Dr. Paul Osenar as President and Chief Executive Officer. Osenar is a co-founder of Protonex and has served as its Chief Technology Officer since 2004 and on the Company’s Board of Directors since inception. Scott Pearson, the President and CEO for the last six years, will remain with the Company in a non-executive capacity, assuming the role of Chairman of the Protonex Board of Directors. Harry Fitzgibbons, the Chairman of Protonex since May 2006, will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

“The Company’s strong proprietary technology base, established military partnerships, and exciting suite of new products provide a strong foundation and the basis of a highly valuable, industry-leading company.”

Coincident with these leadership changes, Protonex has implemented a set of operational changes to focus the Company exclusively on the military segment of its business and to significantly reduce its expenses. The military business at Protonex continues to be robust, well-funded and is expected to provide solid growth for several product platforms. The non-military markets that the Company was previously targeting continue to be negatively impacted by macro-economic factors and have developed more slowly than expected. While Protonex has decided not to pursue these non-military segments today, it is possible that the Company would restart these efforts in the future if conditions improve.

“Paul Osenar has always been a driving force behind Protonex, particularly on the military side of our business. He is an outstanding leader, a talented manager and is fluent in all facets of our business,” said Scott Pearson. “Paul is the perfect choice to lead the Company going forward and the Directors are excited about what he and his team can deliver.”

“I am excited for this opportunity to lead the Protonex team and to continue the important work we’ve done to date,” said Dr. Osenar, Protonex’s newly appointed President and CEO. “The Company’s strong proprietary technology base, established military partnerships, and exciting suite of new products provide a strong foundation and the basis of a highly valuable, industry-leading company.”

Dr. Osenar has been with Protonex since its founding in October of 2000. Prior to Protonex, he was Project Scientist at Foster-Miller working on novel proton exchange membranes for fuel cells and several other advanced technology programs. His educational background is in materials science, engineering, polymer science and organic chemistry. Dr. Osenar received a B.S. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, both in Materials Science. Dr. Osenar has extensive fuel cell knowledge and broad experience in the development and commercialization of advanced materials and systems. In co-founding Protonex, Dr. Osenar played a key role in identifying both the technical strategy and market focus of the Company. Since its inception, Dr. Osenar has been responsible for driving the technical direction of the Company and its products. In addition, he has played a key role in company financings, business development, sales, and resource acquisition and allocation.

November 5, 2010 - 3:52 PM No Comments

ISE’s bankruptcy won’t affect hydrogen buses

New Flyer president and CEO expects no problems

By Andrew Mitchell

ISE, one of the companies responsible for the hydrogen bus pilot project underway in Whistler, filed for bankruptcy protection recently.

So far there has been no impact on parts and service from the company. And according to Paul Soubry, the president and CEO of New Flyer – the main contractor hired to build and maintain the hydrogen bus fleet – no problems are expected.

“ISE is an important part of the team… and a prime contractor,” said Soubry. “They were the integrator, while Ballard Fuel Systems put together the fuel cells. The warranty, parts support and so forth, are wrapped up in the prime contract with us. So far it hasn’t affected support on the ground, or our ability to get spare parts, and we’ve been monitoring this like crazy.”

Soubry says they are also making contingency plans to source parts and expertise if the company is not able to recover. In the meantime their relationship is similar to the past, although ISE insists on being paid cash for parts and service rather than maintaining an account.

“We’re doing everything we can to support ISE, but at the same time we have to think of the alternatives, like figuring out whether we can order parts from their (ISE’s) suppliers, or alternative sources for engineering or programming should we ever have to go down that path.”

Soubry says the best solution would be for ISE to continue, and said he is encouraged by what he’s heard so far from the company. But whatever happens, he says New Flyer will meet its obligations.

“It’s our name on the front (of the buses) and we’re going to make damn sure we support the customer… and we will do the right thing in the end,” he said.

California-based ISE Limited announced on Aug. 10 that its principal operating subsidiary, ISE Corporation, had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – a clause in the U.S. bankruptcy code that provides temporary protection from creditors while a company reorganizes, recapitalizes, reaches an agreement with creditors, sells off assets, or takes other steps to try to avoid bankruptcy.

The company, which specializes in hybrid-electric drive systems, has not fared well since its initial public offering (IPO) on the Toronto Stock Exchange, dropping from a high of $5.85 per share in February to roughly 30 cents this week.

According to B.C. Transit spokesperson Joanna Morton, they are aware of the situation but have not had any issues so far that would affect the hydrogen bus fleet.

“We’ve been working closely with New Flyer to ensure that the fuel cell fleet is regularly maintained throughout this demonstration,” said Morton.

With 20 buses, Whistler boasts the largest hydrogen fuel cell fleet in the world. The almost $90 million pilot project, funded by all three levels of government, includes the new bus depot at Nesters, the fuelling station and other costs associated with the fleet. The buses were delivered and in operation before the 2010 Winter Olympics, showcasing the technology on the global stage.

November 5, 2010 - 7:12 AM No Comments

Calif. leads domestic market for FuelCell Energy of Danbury

Michael C. Juliano, Staff Writer

California has become a key customer for FuelCell Energy Inc. as the state’s utility companies continue efforts to provide clean energy for its 37 million residents.

Since June, the Danbury-based provider of fuel-cell power plants has shipped several units to the state through contracts with different energy suppliers. The most recent deal was announced Thursday with BioFuels Energy LLC of Encinitas, Calif., acquiring three units totaling 4.5 megawatts for the San Diego area.

“It’s our leading domestic market,” said Daniel Brdar, FuelCell’s chief executive officer said. “Keep an eye on what we have coming out.”

The agreement with BioFuels includes the installation of a 2.8-megawatt DFC3000 — publicly traded FuelCell’s largest unit — at the University of California-San Diego, a 1.4-megawatt DFC1500 at San Diego’s Water Reclamation Plant and a 300-kilowatt DFC300 at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The DFC3000 will supply energy to the UC-San Diego campus and create 320 tons of air-conditioning capacity for buildings through by-product heat, while the DFC1500 will use biogas to provide on-site energy to the reclamation plant. The DFC300 will use biogas from the Point Loma plant, which treats 175 million gallons of wastewater daily from 2.2 million people, to fuel itself and provide directed biogas to the existing pipeline to power the two other plants.

“The citizens of San Diego will benefit from this project as we protect our air quality while also generating revenue for the city,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said in a statement.

The City of San Diego estimates that the project will generate $2.6 million of revenue over 10 years from BioFuels Energy for the biogas it will buy, and save $780,000 in electricity costs to power the reclamation plant under a 10-year power purchase agreement with the company.

The entire project, which is slated to be operational by next summer and involves the first U.S. installation of the DFC3000, is being financed in part by the California Pollution Control Authority, and equity and debt investments from the New Energy Capital CleanTech Infrastructure Fund and the North Sky Capital CleanTech Alliance fund.

In June, FuelCell sold two DCF1500 units to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for installation at California State University East Bay-Hayward Hills and San Francisco State University, and in September sold a DFC1500 to the Rancho California Water District to power a pumping station in Temecula, Calif. FuelCell also sold a DCF1500 this summer to Olivera Egg Ranch in French Camp, Calif., which is using the unit to convert methane from chicken droppings into energy.

California has joined Connecticut and South Korea’s Posco Power, which has a licensing agreement for FuelCell components, as FuelCell Energy’s top areas of focus as a result of the state’s growing wastewater industry, where biogas is converted into clean energy, said Jeff Osborne, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus and Co. who covers FuelCell Energy.

“In terms of availability and energy, supply is what drives people to seek alternatives,” he said.

The deal with BioFuels represents a new step for FuelCell in that the DFC300 power plant will add biogas to the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant’s existing gas pipeline, in addition to creating on-site power, said Walter Nasdeo, an analyst with Ardour Capital Investments LLC.

“If this returns performance as expected, this could be an impetus for more traction in California,” he said.

November 5, 2010 - 6:32 AM No Comments

Capacity of Texas, Inc. Continues Sustainability Program With the Introduction of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Terminal Truck

LONGVIEW, Texas – Capacity of Texas announces the award of an $872,000 Grant to develop a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Terminal Truck. The project is supported by the State of Texas through a Grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The project involves developing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Terminal truck which will have “Zero” emissions.  The Zero Emission Terminal Truck (ZETT™) will be based on the world’s only Pluggable Hybrid Terminal Truck (PHETT®) platform.

“As the leader in the terminal tractor industry with environmental friendly products, we are pleased to announce the addition of a “Zero Emission” terminal truck to our fleet.  In 2007 we launched the first CNG/LNG terminal truck with the Cummins West Port ISL-G engine.  These trucks met the EPA/CARB 2010 emission standards a full 3 years ahead of the required emission change.  In 2007 our goal was to be the leader in environmentally friendly products.  Since the introduction of the ISL-G terminal tractor, numerous customers recognized and took advantage of our commitment to our sustainability program.  The PHETT® has been recognized as the most innovative new product in the terminal truck industry in the last 20 years.  The ZETT™ will be the only zero emission terminal truck that will meet the demanding environment and duty cycle of a terminal truck and have zero emissions.  Depending on the requirements, the ZETT™ can operate up to two (2) shifts before refueling.  We are the only manufacturer to have a full line of environmentally friendly products and diesel power solutions that enhance our strategy of continuous improvement and environmental stewardship.  Capacity of Texas is dedicated to the strategic partnerships with our customers with an range of power options to meet their requirements in any application,” stated Phillip Ford, President of Capacity of Texas.

November 4, 2010 - 4:30 PM No Comments

EU funding helps secure three more hydrogen buses for London

EU funding has enabled Transport for London (TfL) to make provision for three more hydrogen buses that will enable an entire bus route in London to use this greener, cleaner technology, helping to improve air quality in the Capital.

TfL has secured €5.67m funding as part of the EU’s Cleaner Hydrogen in Cities (CHIC) project to expand its current hydrogen bus project.

The funding allows for three additional zero-emission hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses and the opportunity to extend the whole demonstration project from three to four years.

The additional buses will join the five existing buses which are due to come into service on route RV1 later this year.

All eight buses will be in service by the end of 2011, at which point the entire route, which runs from Covent Garden to Tower Hill,  will be operated by zero-emission hydrogen technology.

TfL is committed to introducing less polluting transport choices to improve air quality and help tackle London’s CO2 emissions.

Once in service the hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses will produce no harmful emissions, only water vapour, and will join one of the cleanest bus fleets in Europe.

The buses will be delivered in partnership with ISE Corporation and Wrightbus, with Ballard supplying the fuel cells and Air Products the hydrogen fuel.

Tackling emissions

London is one of five European partners benefiting from the EU investment in hydrogen technology, alongside Oslo in Norway, Milan and Bolzano in Italy, and Aargau/St Gallen in Switzerland.

Kit Malthouse, Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership and Deputy Mayor for Policing, said: ‘This is knockout news for the Mayor’s plans to cleanse the air we breathe every day.

‘Hydrogen vehicles emit only water from their exhaust pipe, unlike the fumes and pollution petrol and diesel engines spew forth.

‘Having a bus route running entirely on hydrogen gives us a fantastic flagship fleet to demonstrate the massive benefits of this exciting fuel.’

Mike Weston, Operations Director for London Buses, said: ‘London faces many environmental challenges but with this funding now secured we can fully consider hydrogen and demonstrate the long term benefits which can be made in tackling CO2 emissions.

‘We are delighted that this additional funding will allow us to have a bus route fully operating with hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses, and this marks an exciting new chapter for London Buses as we embrace new technologies to further build on the excellent work we are doing to improve air quality for Londoners.’

Earlier this year, the London Hydrogen Partnership published a hydrogen action plan which pledged to support the introduction of more hydrogen fuelled vehicles in the Capital.

November 4, 2010 - 11:12 AM No Comments

FuelCell Energy to Supply 4.5 Megawatts of Power Plants for Renewable Directed Biogas Project in San Diego, California

DANBURY, Conn.,– FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL ), a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean high efficiency power plants using renewable and other fuels for commercial, industrial, government, and utility clients, today announced the sale of 4.5 megawatts (MW) of power plants to BioFuels Fuel Cells, LLC, a California renewable energy company owned by New Energy Capital and BioFuels Energy, LLC. Three fuel cell power plants, including a 2.8 MW DFC3000, a 1.4 MW DFC1500 and a 300 kilowatt DFC300, will be installed at three different locations in the San Diego, California area and will utilize purified biogas from the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant as the primary fuel source for the generation of ultra-clean electricity. The City of San Diego will convert a waste problem into a revenue stream through this directed-biogas project.

The biogas generated at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant represents a revenue source for the City of San Diego and a renewable fuel source for generating clean electricity with fuel cell power plants. This project incorporates a unique solution that purifies the biogas on site, and then injects the biogas into an existing gas pipeline to supply fuel cells at two different locations in the San Diego area. Termed ‘directed biogas,’ this project will represent the first time that a FuelCell Energy power plant will be fueled by renewable biogas generated at a distant location.

“The citizens of San Diego will benefit from this project as we protect our air quality while also generating revenue for the City,” said Jerry Sanders, Mayor of the City of San Diego. “This is yet more proof that San Diego is leading the charge in the exciting world of clean energy technology.”

Fuel cells generate electricity cleanly and efficiently using an electrochemical process that does not involve combustion. The lack of combustion eliminates almost all pollutants such as NOx or particulate matter. The fuel cells will replace the current gas flaring, a combustion based process that releases NOx, SOx and particulate matter and will replace electricity currently purchased from the electric grid. This project will eliminate the emission of approximately 68,100 pounds of pollutants annually, which is equivalent to removing approximately 1,136 cars from the road.

The three fuel cell power plants will be configured to utilize the byproduct heat from the electrical generation process. Fuel cells can achieve up to 90 percent efficiency when the byproduct heat is used in a combined heat & power (CHP) configuration. This results in additional cost savings for the clients as the fuel cell provides both clean electricity and high-quality usable heat.

The 2.8 MW DFC3000 will be installed at the University of California — San Diego to supply power to the campus electrical grid. On-site power generation allows the University to gain greater control over its power supplies by generating power around-the-clock with the fuel cell. The University will utilize the byproduct heat from the fuel cell energy generation process as a continuous power source for 320 tons of chilling capacity to cool campus buildings, increasing the overall efficiency of the power plant and generating cost savings for the University.

“Our new biogas-fed fuel-cell project will improve the reliability and flexibility of the campus power grid and it will also be an important step toward achieving the university’s goal of climate neutrality by 2025,” said Gary C. Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning, University of California — San Diego. “This fuel cell also will become a vital part of our living laboratory on campus in which students and faculty eager to help develop a greener economy are working side by side with green-tech companies and campus energy managers.”

The 1.4 MW DFC1500 will be installed at the South Bay Water Reclamation Plant in San Diego, CA. This municipal facility is a pump station that does not generate biogas on site. The fuel cell power plant will provide reliable base-load power around-the-clock, replacing power purchased from the electric grid. Byproduct heat will be used for heating needs at the pump station, increasing the overall efficiency of the power plant.

The 300 kilowatt DFC300 fuel cell will be located at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant and will generate the power required for the biogas purification process. Biogas generated from the wastewater treatment process will fuel the DFC300 power plant and provide directed biogas to the existing gas pipeline.

The City of San Diego estimates the project will generate $2.6 million of revenue over ten years from payments made by BioFuels Energy for the biogas. In addition, the City expects to save $780,000 in electricity costs to power the South Bay Water Reclamation Plant under a ten year power purchase agreement with BioFuels Energy.

“This project is a perfect example of far-sighted government working with industry to creatively solve waste problems for the City of San Diego in an economically compelling manner,” said R. Daniel Brdar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FuelCell Energy, Inc. “The use of directed biogas allows customers at distant locations to generate clean power while decreasing their carbon footprint and reducing pollutants.”

“We have been working closely with the City of San Diego, the University of California San Diego, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy for two years on this project and believe this is a model that can work for other municipalities to generate revenue and renewable electricity from their waste streams,” said Frank Mazanec, Managing Director of BioFuels Energy, LLC. “This project was made feasible with the California Public Utilities Commission’s approval allowing directed biogas to be transmitted in the existing natural gas pipeline system,” said Ken Frisbie, Managing Director of BioFuels Energy, LLC.

The project is being financed by the issuance of bonds authorized by the California Pollution Control Authority, equity and debt investments from the New Energy Capital Cleantech Infrastructure Fund and the North Sky Capital CleanTech Alliance fund, and grants under both the California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which promotes the installation of clean distributed generation power sources, and the U.S. Treasury investment tax credit. US Bancorp provided tax credit financing, representing their first fuel cell project.

“The City, the State of California, and our contractors and partners have worked hard to launch one of the most innovative renewable energy projects in the country,” said Scott Brown, Managing Director of New Energy Capital.

BioFuels Energy LLC will own all three of the fuel cell power plants. FuelCell Energy will service the power plants under a long term service contract and the units are expected to be operational by the summer of 2011.

The Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Diego, California treats approximately 175 million gallons of wastewater per day generated in a 450 square mile area by more than 2.2 million residents.

About BioFuels Energy LLC

BioFuels Energy LLC, based in Encinitas, California, develops innovative renewable energy projects utilizing waste resources from municipal landfills and wastewater treatment facilities.

About New Energy Capital Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, L.P.

NECCIF invests in small and mid-sized projects utilizing proven clean energy, clean water, energy efficiency and waste management technologies. It is managed by New Energy Capital Partners, LLC (www.newenergycapital.com), which has invested in renewable energy and efficiency projects since 2004. The Fund was created in partnership with the CleanTech Alliance Fund, which will co-invest alongside NEC in projects targeting attractive returns and the creation of American jobs. The CleanTech Alliance Fund is managed by Piper Jaffray Private Capital in Minneapolis, MN.

About U.S. Bancorp

With assets of over $7 billion, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) finances community development and affordable housing projects through the use of New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and Investment Tax Credits in Renewable Energy. USBCDC is a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States, whose parent company is U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USBNews). With $282 billion in assets, the company operates more than 3,000 banking offices and over 5,300 ATMs in 24 states, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions.

About FuelCell Energy

DFC(R) fuel cells are generating power at over 50 locations worldwide. The Company’s power plants have generated over 600 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable wastewater gas, biogas from beer and food processing, as well as natural gas and other hydrocarbon fuels. FuelCell Energy has partnerships with major power plant developers and power companies around the world. The Company also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies for the development of leading edge technologies such as fuel cells. For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com

November 4, 2010 - 9:14 AM No Comments

TransAct Energy Secures Altergy Systems Fuel Cell Technology for India

Collaboration Agreement Provides for Distribution & Manufacturing in India

SAN ANTONIO, TX-- TransAct Energy Corp. (OTCBB: TEGY) today announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Altergy Systems of California whereby TransAct will distribute Altergy’s hydrogen fuel cell back up power systems designed for the telecommunication industry, in India. The total distribution license is valued at $10 Million USD with the provision to offset the same with a bona fide order for ten thousand Altergy Systems. India currently has in excess of 350,000 cell phone towers in operation, as reported by PV Magazine, each using between 3 and 5 kilowatts of power. Diesel generators typically provide this power, consuming over 2 billion liters of diesel fuel and spewing out over 5 Million tons of CO2 into the environment annually. The Indian government is establishing new laws to make it mandatory to replace diesel power with clean power and is currently in tests utilizing a solar power system. TransAct and Altergy believe fuel cells are ideal for this application.

TransAct will also have the option to manufacture its own hydrogen fuel cell generators in India using the Altergy technology under a separate license agreement. “We set out to secure sustainable power technologies that we can integrate into complete solutions,” says Rod Bartlett CEO and President of TransAct Energy Corp. “We believe that Altergy’s mass producible fuel cells are the perfect solution for the Indian market. The Altergy technology has the potential to become a household name in India when it is ready to be placed in every home, for now we will tackle the Telco industry and other essential services that require reliable back up and uninterrupted power supplies.”

“Altergy is proud to have been chosen by TransAct Energy to bring its advanced fuel cell solutions to the rapidly growing Indian telecom market. We look forward to our products serving these markets, deepening our relationship with TransAct and together, Changing the Way the World Gets Its Power,” said Eric Mettler, president and CEO of Altergy.

November 4, 2010 - 7:00 AM No Comments

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