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New York: New Wind Turbine Powers Hydrogen Car Fuel Station

As the song says, “the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” The “question” in the case of Hempstead Town’s new 100-kilowatt wind turbine is, “how do you fuel-up pollution-free cars without creating any carbon footprint?” More specifically, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilwoman Angie Cullin unveiled a state-of-the-art wind turbine that will provide the energy necessary to create hydrogen gas, which is being used to power the town’s fuel cell cars. This “closed loop” energy system is completely “green” in producing fuel for vehicles that emit no pollutants.

Also present at the high-energy event were Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Long Island energy partners, including the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, New York Institute of Technology, Wilke Engineering, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the Point Lookout and Lido Beach Civic Associations and the Point Lookout-Lido Fire Department.

“I am ‘blown away’ by the potential of renewable energy,” stated Murray. “It’s awe inspiring that we are using renewable wind power to convert natural water into hydrogen gas in order to power pollution-free cars.”

The wind turbine, which is located the township’s Conservation and Waterways Department in Point Lookout, stands 121 feet tall. The “windmill” is capable of generating up to 180 megawatts of power per year. Powered by winds off the Atlantic coast, the turbine will provide an almost continuous source of energy that will facilitate a water-to-hydrogen process. The resulting hydrogen fuel is dispensed from Long Island’s only hydrogen fueling station, located adjacent to the turbine. Ultimately, the hydrogen fuel is utilized to power Toyota fuel-cell vehicles operated by the town, as well as a hydrogen/natural gas bus. The town is negotiating with another major fuel-cell vehicle manufacturer to secure additional cars.

“This wind turbine is a key element of the town’s clean, renewable energy agenda,” said Cullin. “We’re making the planet cleaner for our families and future generations.”

Funding for the wind turbine was drawn from a $4.6-million United States Department of Energy grant secured by the Town of Hempstead. The wind-powered device had a total cost of almost $615,000. Additionally, electrical and marine bulkheading work associated with the project was performed “in-house” by town personnel, and had an estimated private sector value of over $150,000.

The annual energy cost savings associated with the turbine if applied to local private LIPA customers is estimated at approximately $40,000. Actual cost savings to the town will vary from this estimate, based on the fact that the town’s utility rates are variable; the amount of hydrogen fuel used and generated will have to be quantified and gauged against hydrogen fuel prices on the open market. Finally, the “excess energy” generated by the turbine will be turned back to the LIPA grid, resulting in yet-to-be determined reductions in net electrical costs from the utility.

“Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead are true Long Island leaders in advancing the use of solar and wind into Long Island’s energy portfolio,” said Long Island Power Authority Chief Operating Officer Michael D. Hervey. “LIPA was happy to provide technical assistance with this project, and remains committed to working with our residents, local governments, businesses, and community leaders to promote and invest in energy efficiency and renewable technologies through our nationally recognized solar, wind and Efficiency Long Island programs, which help to improve our environment and accelerate the clean energy economy.”

In addition to the wind turbine, U.S. Department of Energy grant funding is being used to finance the construction of a 60K solar field, two solar trackers (solar panels which follow the path of the sun), a solar-powered carport and a geothermal energy project that will address heating and cooling needs at the town’s Conservation and Waterways facility.

“By utilizing the great wind resource in Long Island, the Northern Power 100 wind turbine will help provide real cost savings, emissions reductions and energy security to the Town of Hempstead,” said Brett Pingree, VP of Sales & Marketing for Northern Power Systems. “It makes perfect sense that a forward-thinking municipality would be the one to lead by example as we all plan for our evolving energy future.”

The town has aggressively pursed grant funding for its renewable energy projects, helping to mitigate the impact on taxpayers. This type of proactive approach to funding helps the town to pursue innovative improvements while it has frozen taxes for 2012. Additionally, the town is advancing its goals of helping to demonstrate the benefits of green technologies, educating the public on those benefits, and to further the research and development of such initiatives in the future.

“We love it,” said Addy Quinn of the Lido Beach Civic Association. “It’s another positive step in reducing the carbon footprint and showing us new ways of getting energy.”

“Across the U.S., the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program partners like Hempstead are deploying innovative clean energy products and services and helping families, businesses and governments reduce energy waste,” said Ted Donat, Program Lead for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservative Block Grant Program. “This project can serve as a model for other local governments that want to use renewable energy sources to reduce the need to buy gas and diesel fuel and save money in the process.”

“The answer to clean and renewable energy is ‘blowin’ in the wind,’” concluded Murray. “This wind turbine is creating renewable energy, saving money, conserving natural resources and building an environmentally responsible legacy for our children and our children’s children.”

Source: Town of Hempstead, New York

January 25, 2012 - 1:22 PM No Comments

MTSU’s Hydrogen-Solar Car Gets Boost from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America

Louisville, KY (PRWEB) January 21, 2012
Since childhood, Cliff Ricketts has had a passion for finding a way to fuel engines with hydrogen derived from water. As a professor of agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University, he’s been working on various alternative fuels for the better part of 35 years, coming ever closer to his ultimate goal.
Now, thanks to a $15,000 grant from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America which triggered matching funds from the University, Ricketts and a group of student volunteers will be making a coast-to-coast trip during spring break in a car powered only by hydrogen, solar energy, and ten gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
“This research has some direct implications for American agriculture, and that’s why I appreciate Farm Credit’s donation,” said Ricketts. “We wouldn’t be able to make this trip without their assistance.”
Jack Swanson, Assistant Vice President for Farm Credit, presenting a $15,000 check to Dr. Cliff Ricketts, Professor of Agricultural Education, Middle Tennessee State University for the fuel research program.
The trip will begin in early March in Savannah, GA in a converted Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. On each 750-mile leg of the trip, the first 100 miles will be powered by solar energy, followed by 200 miles of hydrogen gas power. The next 350 miles will be fueled by 85 percent cellulosic ethanol, with the last 100 miles coming from on-board regeneration of the solar-powered batteries. Then the car will be refilled with hydrogen and re-charged solar batteries from an accompanying mobile refueling station that is loaded on a truck and trailer manned by the students. Five days later the car and support crew will roll into Long Beach, CA. “I figure we’ll average about 60 miles per hour, “said Ricketts. “A car powered by hydrogen runs just as well as one powered by gasoline.”
Although Ricketts’ research has obvious broad implications, the original motivation for it began in 1978 during the Iranian hostage situation and resulting energy crisis, when it was feared that American farmers might not have fuel to harvest their crops. He originally started experimenting with ethanol, then moved on to methane that had been derived from cow manure, then to biodiesel. In 1987, he finally was able start a Briggs & Stratton engine with hydrogen that had been obtained from a process called electrolysis. Subsequent research led to the development of a car that set a land speed record for hydrogen-powered vehicles on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1992, a record that stood for 15 years. (Incidentally, this car was sponsored by the Murfreesboro PCA, a forerunner of Farm Credit Services).
Ricketts readily acknowledges that producing hydrogen from water is not yet price competitive with gasoline, but he feels that in times of national emergencies it could serve as a viable backup source of energy. Correspondingly, he feels that his research has important implications for international peace, the American economy, the environment, and national security.
One of Ricketts’ former student volunteers is Jack Swanson, now an assistant vice president for Farm Credit, based out of the ag lending cooperative’s Lebanon, TN field office. Swanson can still readily identify with his current-day counterparts.
“Those students aren’t receiving any money or grades for helping with this project,” said Swanson. “They do it because they like Doc and the research he does.”
In a twist of fate, Swanson later became the lending officer for Ricketts, who raises beef cattle on the side and whose family has received a Heritage Farm Award as 50-year, third-generation Farm Credit customers. In the course of doing business, Swanson would always ask his old prof about his family and his research, and learned of Ricketts’ need for funding for this phase of the project.
“When I heard about it, I couldn’t think of anything that would be a better use of our stewardship funds,” said Swanson. “I feel our stewardship program is one of the more important things we do as an agricultural lender, and the crux of Dr. Ricketts’ program is to help make the U.S. energy independent. It’s part of our mission to give back some of our earnings to those programs that fuel the future of agriculture.”
Although running coast to coast on nothing but hydrogen, sun and ethanol will be a real shining moment, Ricketts has plans to top that in the summer of 2013, making the same trip on hydrogen from water and solar power alone. “No goals, no glory,” he smiled.

Louisville, KY–Since childhood, Cliff Ricketts has had a passion for finding a way to fuel engines with hydrogen derived from water. As a professor of agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University, he’s been working on various alternative fuels for the better part of 35 years, coming ever closer to his ultimate goal.

Now, thanks to a $15,000 grant from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America which triggered matching funds from the University, Ricketts and a group of student volunteers will be making a coast-to-coast trip during spring break in a car powered only by hydrogen, solar energy, and ten gallons of cellulosic ethanol.

“This research has some direct implications for American agriculture, and that’s why I appreciate Farm Credit’s donation,” said Ricketts. “We wouldn’t be able to make this trip without their assistance.”

Jack Swanson, Assistant Vice President for Farm Credit, presenting a $15,000 check to Dr. Cliff Ricketts, Professor of Agricultural Education, Middle Tennessee State University for the fuel research program.

The trip will begin in early March in Savannah, GA in a converted Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. On each 750-mile leg of the trip, the first 100 miles will be powered by solar energy, followed by 200 miles of hydrogen gas power. The next 350 miles will be fueled by 85 percent cellulosic ethanol, with the last 100 miles coming from on-board regeneration of the solar-powered batteries. Then the car will be refilled with hydrogen and re-charged solar batteries from an accompanying mobile refueling station that is loaded on a truck and trailer manned by the students. Five days later the car and support crew will roll into Long Beach, CA. “I figure we’ll average about 60 miles per hour, “said Ricketts. “A car powered by hydrogen runs just as well as one powered by gasoline.”

Although Ricketts’ research has obvious broad implications, the original motivation for it began in 1978 during the Iranian hostage situation and resulting energy crisis, when it was feared that American farmers might not have fuel to harvest their crops. He originally started experimenting with ethanol, then moved on to methane that had been derived from cow manure, then to biodiesel. In 1987, he finally was able start a Briggs & Stratton engine with hydrogen that had been obtained from a process called electrolysis. Subsequent research led to the development of a car that set a land speed record for hydrogen-powered vehicles on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1992, a record that stood for 15 years. (Incidentally, this car was sponsored by the Murfreesboro PCA, a forerunner of Farm Credit Services).

Ricketts readily acknowledges that producing hydrogen from water is not yet price competitive with gasoline, but he feels that in times of national emergencies it could serve as a viable backup source of energy. Correspondingly, he feels that his research has important implications for international peace, the American economy, the environment, and national security.

One of Ricketts’ former student volunteers is Jack Swanson, now an assistant vice president for Farm Credit, based out of the ag lending cooperative’s Lebanon, TN field office. Swanson can still readily identify with his current-day counterparts.

“Those students aren’t receiving any money or grades for helping with this project,” said Swanson. “They do it because they like Doc and the research he does.”

In a twist of fate, Swanson later became the lending officer for Ricketts, who raises beef cattle on the side and whose family has received a Heritage Farm Award as 50-year, third-generation Farm Credit customers. In the course of doing business, Swanson would always ask his old prof about his family and his research, and learned of Ricketts’ need for funding for this phase of the project.

“When I heard about it, I couldn’t think of anything that would be a better use of our stewardship funds,” said Swanson. “I feel our stewardship program is one of the more important things we do as an agricultural lender, and the crux of Dr. Ricketts’ program is to help make the U.S. energy independent. It’s part of our mission to give back some of our earnings to those programs that fuel the future of agriculture.”

Although running coast to coast on nothing but hydrogen, sun and ethanol will be a real shining moment, Ricketts has plans to top that in the summer of 2013, making the same trip on hydrogen from water and solar power alone. “No goals, no glory,” he smiled.

January 25, 2012 - 7:20 AM No Comments