Fuel Cell and Hydrogen

Energy Connection
May 2012
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News
Federal Program News
RFP/Solicitation News
About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News


Proctor & Gamble to Convert Several Battery Forklift Fleets to Plug Power Fuel Cells


Proctor & Gamble announced plans on Wednesday, May 23, to fully convert the battery forklift fleet at three manufacturing plants to fuel cells. Over 200 forklifts will be supplied by Plug Power, Inc. and will replace fleets at P&G facilities in California, North Carolina, and Louisiana.


In the press release for the announcement, P&G emphasized that the fuel cell forklifts are "greener" than the current battery fleet. P&G officials also highlighted the positive financial impacts that the conversion would bring.


"Our internal analysis shows that we can not only achieve the sustainability benefits, but can also achieve an attractive rate of return on our investment at the same time", said Stefano Zenezini, P&G's Vice President, Global Family Care Product Supply and Global Product Supply Sustainability. "This is just another step on our environmental sustainability journey. Two additional sites are in the advanced study phase for conversion and we'll continue to look for opportunities like this where innovation has made going green a win for our shareholders as much as it has the environment."


More information is available online here.


Bloom Energy Holds Groundbreaking for Delaware Facility - Announces New Customers


On Monday, April 30, Bloom Energy held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing facility to be located in Newark, Delaware.  The facility will be comparable to Bloom's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and is estimated to provide as many as 900 jobs to the region.  Once completed, Bloom Energy's production capacity will be doubled.


The manufacturing plant will be located on the site of a former Chrysler assembly plant, now owned by the University of Delaware.  The University is also building a Science, Technology, and Advanced Research Center on site.  The Center plans to bring together academia and industry to further research, academic, and community partnerships. The Bloom Energy manufacturing plant will be the Center's  anchor tenant.



At the groundbreaking event, Bloom Energy's CEO K.R. Sridhar also announced a number of new customers including Delmarva Power, Washington Gas, AT&T, Owens Corning, and Urban Outfitters.  In addition, Sridhar announced that Apple had added a new order for a North Carolina data center.


Construction of the new plant is expected to be completed by mid-2013, with manufacturing set to begin shortly afterwards.


Bloom Energy's press release on the announcement is available here. Additional coverage of the event by Delaware First is available here.


Actress Diane Kruger Joins Environmental Enthusiasts as One of the First Customers of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL


Mercedes-Benz announced on May 16 that actress Diane Kruger is one of the several dozen customers leasing the B-class F-CELL fuel cell electric vehicle.  Since the beginning of the year, Mercedes has been leasing the F-CELL in the Los Angeles area and has delivered over 35 vehicles to customers.


Actress Diane Kruger Refueling a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL


In a press release, Diane Kruger was quoted saying, "I'm excited to be driving the F-CELL. It's environmentally conscious, fun to drive and gets lots of attention on the street.  I can travel more than 200 miles on a full tank and it's easy to refuel."


The F-CELL is the first Mercedes-Benz zero emission vehicle available in the U.S. The F-CELL has a range of up to 240 miles, and an average of 55 mpg equivalent, while emitting only water vapor.


Mercedes-Benz press release is available online here.


ClearEdge Power Plays Integral Role in Restoration and Reopening of Historic Lafayette Hotel in San Diego


On Wednesday, May 9, ClearEdge Power and the Lafayette Hotel hosted an event to celebrate the historic rehabilitation of The Lafayette Hotel, San Diego. The event showcased the recent rehabilitation of a San Diego landmark and the cutting-edge green technologies implemented in the project, including a 40 kW fuel cell system.




The Lafayette Hotel partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric to implement energy efficiency upgrades throughout the hotel with the goal of reducing annual operating costs by $70,000.  These upgrades included the installation of the ClearEdge Power fuel cell system, which alone will be responsible for reducing energy costs by $30,000 a year, while eliminating 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.



In addition, the fuel cell system has supported the broader renovation of the landmark hotel by helping it qualify for substantial tax credits as well as various energy upgrade rebates, including a Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) award from the California Center for Sustainable Energy.  


More information is available on the ClearEdge Power press release available here.


Lilliputian to Sell Portable Fuel Cell Charger Through Brookstone Later This Year


On Tuesday, May 8, fuel cell manufacturer Lilliputian Systems Inc. announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with retailer Brookstone, Inc. to begin selling their portable fuel cell charger later this year.  Under the agreement, Brookstone will be the first retail launch partner for the portable charger.




The charger, a solid oxide fuel cell which runs on butane fuel, is capable of powering any electronic device that has a USB cable.  The charger is said to deliver between 10 and 14 full charges to an iPhone with one fuel cartridge. 


Lilliputian's press release on the announcement is available online 
here.  Additional coverage of the story is available on CNET here.


Michigan's Mass Transit Authority Unveils Fuel Cell Bus and Hydrogen Station


On Monday, May 21, Flint, Michigan's Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) unveiled a UTC Power fuel cell electric bus, which is now in service for riders.  According to MTA's press release, MTA is now the first transportation authority in the Midwest with a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. 


UTC Power's Fuel Cell Bus at the MTA Station in Downtown Flint. 
(Ryan Garza, mlive)


MTA also announced that they will be procuring additional hydrogen vehicles in the near-future and that a request for proposals will be issued within the next year.


Passengers Aboard the MTA Fuel Cell Bus
(Ryan Garza, mlive)


In addition, MTA opened an Air Products hydrogen fueling station to fuel the vehicle, which will generate hydrogen from a PEM electrolyzer supplied by Proton OnSite.  The station will be the first of its kind in Michigan and will serve as an educational training ground for Kettering University students and the larger community. 


MTA's press release on the announcement is available online here.  Air Products' press release on the hydrogen station is available here


Ballard Power and Anglo American Platinum Limited Partner on Range of Fuel Cell Applications in South Africa - Demonstrate World's First Fuel Cell Locomotive


On Tuesday, May 8, Ballard Power Systems and Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats) announced a partnership on a range of fuel cell applications in South Africa, including the demonstration of the world's first fuel cell locomotive.   The following day, Amplats launched the first of five locomotive powered by fuel cells for use in underground mining operations. 


Mine Locomotive Prototype Powered by Ballard Power Fuel Cell


According to Amplats CEO Cynthia Caroll, "Hydrogen fuel cell locomotives are more economical and environmentally friendly than other forms of rail transport."  When in operation underground, fuel cells do not produce any harmful greenhouse gases.


In addition to the fuel cell locomotive,  Ballard Power and Amplats are developing a market feasibility study and are testing a proof-of-concept system for a small-scale electric generator that will utilize on-site propane or natural gas for South African markets.


More information is available on Ballard Power's press release here. Additional coverage can be found on Reuters Africa here.


Plug Power Expands Client Base - Includes Mercedes-Benz, Stihl, and IKEA


On Tuesday, May 15, Plug Power, Inc., producer of the GenDrive fuel cell system, announced the addition of several new firms to its clientele. Mercedes-Benz, Stihl, and IKEA have formalized their first orders of the GenDrive-powered forklifts to be used at shipping and distribution centers throughout the U.S. In addition, Lowe's, a continuing customer, signed a five year contract to set product pricing and service terms for GenDrive products to be used in its Rome, Georgia distribution center. Other repeat customers included Sysco San Antonio, Sysco Long Island, and Bridgestone-Firestone after placing orders for 2012.


The contract with Ikea represents the first business deal closed by HyPulsion, a joint venture between Plug Power and Air Liquide. Ikea has signed a contract with HyPulsion to convert its entire southern France operation to GenDrive products in 2013.


These deals are projected to push the deployment of GenDrive forklifts from the current 2,200 units at customer sites to over 4,000 individual units by the end of 2012.


More information can be found from Plug Power's press release here


Western Connecticut State University to Install UTC Power Fuel Cell


Adding to the growing list of university campuses utilizing fuel cells, Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) announced on May 16 that it will team with United Technologies Corporation to power its new science building with a UTC Power PureCell Model 400 fuel cell. 


UTC will own and operate the 400kW fuel cell, with the university agreeing to purchase both the power and heat it will generate. The fuel cell is expected to cover all of the science building's electrical and heating needs, and may even serve as part of the departmental science curriculum. The fuel cell installation is expected to save the university around $30,000 annually.


More information is available online here.


Federal Program News 


Department of Energy Announces Milestone in Fuel Cell Use, Releases Updated Accomplishments Fact Sheet


DOE EERE Banner 

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced on May 14 that more than one thousand fuel cells were deployed

 as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   Over the last three years, nearly 1,200 fuel cells have been deployed in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks.


$18.5 million of Recovery Act funding was used to deploy nearly 700 fuel cells for backup power.  In addition, $9.7 million in Recovery Act funding has resulted in the deployment of more than 500 fuel cell powered lift trucks, their accompanying hydrogen fueling systems, data collection and analysis, and operator training. 


Targeted fuel cell deployments through Recovery Act funding has helped increase the scale of deployment, demonstrating the benefits of the technology, and increase cost-effectiveness.  This has resulted in accelerated market adoption. These deployments utilizing DOE funding have leveraged additional independent purchases of over 3,000 fuel cell lift trucks.


The DOE press release is available here.


In addition to the Recovery Act announcement, the Department of Energy published an updated fact sheet on the Fuel Cell Technologies Program's accomplishments and progress.  The fact sheet highlights major accomplishments in the Program in reducing cost and improving durability and performance of fuel cells, as well as the improvements made in hydrogen storage.
DOE EERE Banner 


The Progress and Accomplishments in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells fact sheet is available online here.


Department of Energy Holds Webinar on Launch of JOBS and economic impacts of Fuel Cells (JOBS FC) Analysis Model



On May 22, 2012, the Department of Energy presented a webinar featuring a new modeling tool for estimating the economic benefits of fuel cells in early market applications. The tool, called "JOBS and economic impacts of Fuel Cells (JOBS FC)," estimates the number of jobs created by deploying fuel cells in forklifts, backup power, and prime power applications.




Slides and a recording of the webinar are available here.


Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Presents 2012 Annual Merit Review Awards 


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program presented its annual awards at the 2012 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting on May 16, 2012.


DOE EERE Banner  


This year, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Program also presented a joint "Special Recognition Award." 2012 award recipients are: 


 Special Recognition Award

  • Judi Abraham, Conference Management Associates, Inc.

DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Awards

  • Argonne National Laboratory Technical Experts
    • Thomas Benjamin
    • John Kopasz
    • Walter Podolski
  • Catherine Dunwoody, California Fuel Cell Partnership
  • Jaimie Levin, AC Transit

DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Sub-Program Awards

  • Hydrogen Production: Katherine Ayers, Proton OnSite and Monjid Hamdan, Giner, Inc.
  • Hydrogen Delivery: Amgad Elogwainy, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Hydrogen Storage: Matthew Thornton, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Michael Veenstra, Ford Motor Company; and Josť Miguel Pasini, United Technologies Research Center
  • Fuel Cells: Radoslav Adzic, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Radoslav Atanasoski, 3M
  • Manufacturing R&D: Michael Ulsh, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Safety, Codes & Standards: Daniel Dedrick, Sandia National Laboratories
The DOE's announcement is available here.

RFP / Solicitation News


Department of Energy Issues Request for Information on Hydrogen Storage Targets for Early Market Applications


The Department of Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Program, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders on the proposed performance, durability, and cost targets for hydrogen storage sub-systems designed for material handling and portable power fuel cell applications. Comments on the relevance and appropriateness of the suggested target values, including recommendations and justification for any targets that are not currently addressed are sought. 


For more information on this RFI, please visit the DOE's Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000735.

Application deadline is 12:00 PM EDT June 15, 2012. 

Department of Energy Issues Request for Information on Material Handling and Backup Power Targets for Early Market Fuel Cell Applications

The Department of Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Program, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders on proposed technical and cost targets for fuel cells designed for backup power and material handling applications.  Feedback on proposed performance, durability and cost targets, as well as on current status, for these two early market fuel cell applications is sought from developers, manufacturers, end users, and other stakeholders.   The targets are intended to meet end user expectations, and are not driven by the operating parameters or constraints of specific technologies.


For more information on this RFI, please visit the DOE's Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000738.


Application deadline is 12:00 PM EDT June 30, 2012.  


Department of Energy Announces up to $5 Million to Spur Adoption of Alternative Fuel Vehicles - Includes Hydrogen


The Department of Energy has issued a funding opportunity announcement for up to $5 million to be available this year to help expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including vehicles fueled by hydrogen and electric vehicles.


The Energy Department seeks proposals that address barriers to the adoption of these vehicles, provide safety training, coordinate initiatives, and drive market development and transformation to make alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure widely available. Proposed projects should cover each of these areas. This funding opportunity does not provide for the purchase or installation of vehicles or infrastructure.

The Department anticipates awarding 10 to 20 projects this year to be completed within two years. For more information and application requirements for this funding opportunity, please visit the DOE's Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000708.

Application deadline is 8:00 PM EDT June 18, 2012.

The Department of Energy press release on the announcement is available here

Department of Energy Announces up to $2.5 Million to Deploy Fuel Cell Powered Baggage Vehicles at Commercial Airports


The Department of Energy has issued a funding opportunity announcement for up to $2.5 million in 2012 to demonstrate and deploy fuel cell hybrid ground support equipment (GSE) vehicles at airport and/or air freight distribution centers.  


Packaged solutions for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems fueled by hydrogen with the ability to power a baggage tow tractor with 3,000 to 6,000 pounds of towing capability for a minimum of 10 hours of continuous operation and 5,000 total hours are sought.


The deadline for submission for this announcement is 5:00 PM EDT June 11, 2012.


For more information on the funding announcement, see the Department of Energy press release here.

Department of Energy Announces $6 Million Available for Light-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Validation Data


The Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies (FCT) Program has issued a grant opportunity for light-duty fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) validation data.  The FCT Program has issued the announcement to fund the collection, analysis, and validation of light-duty hydrogen FCEV performance data operating in real-world environments. 


Feedback will be provided to the DOE hydrogen and fuel cell R&D projects and industry partners to help determine what additional R&D is required to move the technology forward. The total DOE funding available for new awards is estimated to be $6,000,000. 


The full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is posted on the EERE Exchange website


Submission deadline for applicants is 5:00 PM EST on June 18, 2012.


Department of Energy Announces $9 Million Available for Small Business Innovation Research in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Energy Department (DOE) announced up to $9 million available this year to fund small business innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy.  Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are included in the funding in addition to advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, solar energy, and wind and water power technologies that contribute to an overall framework of 8 broad topics and 30 subtopics.
The DOE will fund selected small businesses with one-year awards of up to $150,000 that are intended to test the possibilities of innovative clean energy concepts. There will be an opportunity for successful candidates to compete for more than $1 million in follow-on-funding.


Full application submission deadline is 11:59 PM EDT July 3, 2012.  
More information on the announcement can be found on the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) Funding Opportunity Exchange website. 


The EERE press release on the announcement is available online here.
Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition Issue Call for Papers
The Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition has issued a call for papers on the topics of Motive and Automotive Industry Sector, Stationary Power and Energy Production, Business to Business Enterprise Solutions, and Education.  


For more information please visit the submission site at here.  


The deadline for submission is Friday, June 8, 2012.


About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection




Press releases and story ideas may be forwarded to Connor Dolan and Karen Hall for consideration at  cdolan@fchea.org and  khall@fchea.org respectively.


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Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association --  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the world's premier advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies.  Its membership represents the full spectrum of the supply chain from universities, government laboratories and agencies, fuel cell materials, component and system manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users. (http://www.fchea.org/)


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