Fuel Cell and Hydrogen

Energy Connection
August 2013
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News
Federal Program News
Request for Papers, Proposals, and Information
About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News


Bloom Energy Announces New Leasing Program with Bank of America Merrill Lynch


On August 13, Bloom Energy announced their new leasing program with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which will provide leasing opportunities for their customers, reducing the need for up-front financing.


The multi-million dollar commitment is part of the Bank of America's $50 billion environmental business initiative, which delivers lending, equipment finance, capital markets and advisory activities, and carbon markets finance to clients around the world to help address global climate change and demands on natural resources.


TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company and Honda Center in Anaheim are the first customers to take advantage of the new program.


The full press release can be found here.


Mercedes-Benz Purchases 123 Additional Plug Power Fuel Cell Forklifts for New Alabama Plant


On August 20, Plug Power Inc. announced that Mercedes-Benz has ordered another 123 GenDrive fuel cell units to be used in forklifts at its new manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.Earlier this year, construction began on the new $70 million, 900,000 square-foot warehouse where the forklifts will operate.


Last July, Mercedes-Benz purchased 72 Plug Power fuel cells for their current manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa.


A link to the full press release can be found here


Hyundai Prepares Hydrogen Energy Station in Chino, California for Public Launch


On August 5, Hyundai announced that Hydrogen Frontier, Inc. had received $3 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to build a fully renewable hydrogen fueling station for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) at Hyundai's hydrogen generation and storage station in Chico, California.  The project will purchase the energy used to create the hydrogen from a renewable provider, and will be able to produce up to 100 kilograms of hydrogen per day, enough for 6,000 to 9,000 vehicle fill-ups a year.  


The estimated completion date for the new project is October 2014,  at which point Hyundai plans to open the station to the public to support California's existing hydrogen refueling infrastructure.   An additional $1.7 million in funding has been provided by Hydrogen Frontier, Inc., Powertech, and ITM Power to modernize the facility.


A link to the full press release can be found here


FuelCell Energy Applauds Creation of Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation at University of Connecticut


On August 1, FuelCell Energy expressed its support of the creation of the Fraunhofer Center for Innovation (CEI) at the University of Connecticut, the seventh Fraunhofer research center in the United States.  The Fraunhofer CEI will aim to develop advanced technologies related to storage, fuel cells, in-stream hydro, power management and distribution.


FuelCell Energy Inc. and Fraunhofer IKTS are partners in a German-based joint venture to expand the European market for highly efficient and environmentally friendly stationary fuel cell power plants.


FuelCell Energy's press release can be found here.


ITM Power Selected to Install and Operate Renewable Hydrogen Mini Grid System in UK


On July 29, the UK Homes and Communities Agency selected ITM Power to become the operator of a Hydrogen Mini Grid System (HMGS) in Rotherham.


The HMGS consists of a 225kW wind turbine coupled directly to an electrolyser, 200kg of hydrogen storage, a hydrogen dispensing unit, and a 30kW fuel cell system for backup power generation for nearby buildings.


ITM Power's press release can be found here.


Connecticut Department of Transportation Uses Fuel Cell Mobile Light for Major Construction Project


On July 11, it was announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) is using a Fuel Cell Mobile Light unit to illuminate a major interchange construction project, the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program.  The unit, which has been field-tested across the country, is being used in order to reduce emissions and noise in the work zone and allow the CT DOT to gain experience with fuel cells.


Director of Sandia National Laboratories Lennie Klebanoff (far left) and members of the CT DOT with the Mobile Fuel Cell Light


The Fuel Cell Mobile Light was initiated through a cooperative R&D agreement between Boeing and Sandia National Laboratories, and has since been expanded into a larger coalition of partners.


The full article can be found here.


University of Connecticut to Create an Independent Microgrid with ClearEdge Power Fuel Cell and Solar Photovoltaics


On August 13, the University of Connecticut (UConn) announced that it will be creating an independent microgrid at its Depot Campus in Storrs.  The microgrid will include an existing ClearEdge Power 400kW fuel cell and a demonstration-scale 6.6 kW photovoltaic solar panel array.


The ClearEdge Power fuel cell located on the UConn Depot Campus (Source: UConn)

The University has received $2.14 million in state funding through the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) to create the microgrid.  The microgrid will support a number of critical facilities at the UConn campus and is expected to be operational by June 2014.


An article on the microgird can be found on the UConn website here.


ITM Power Receives EU Grant for Hydrogen Energy Storage


On August 21, ITM Power announced that it has received confirmation of a €0.35 M grant award from the European Union program CommONEenergy.  The program addresses the need to redesign and refurbish non-residential buildings for energy efficiency and renewable energy in Europe. 


ITM's role in the project is to demonstrate hydrogen energy storage systems as an effective way of integrating renewable energy into the built environment.  ITM Power's first demonstration is at a shopping center, where the installation will be designed to match supply and demand profiles required for renewable power systems.


A link to the full press release can be found here.


USA Today Reviews the Honda FCX Clarity


On July 27, USA Today published a review of the Honda FCX Clarity.  The review was generally positive, citing the advantages of fuel cell electric vehicles over their battery electric counterparts.  The Clarity was dubbed a "terrific blend of premium features, eye-catching style and futuristic power."


USA Today's full article can be found here


ClearEdge Power Launches New Website


On August 15, ClearEdge Power launched a completely redesigned external website. This new site provides a clean, fresh look for the company and incorporates many important innovative features, including a stackable design for easy viewing on personal electronic devices and a fully integrated social media platform.  


Please take a few minutes to explore their new site and be sure to encourage others to do the same: www.clearedgepower.com


Fuel Cell Energy Launches Website for European Operations


On August 1, Fuel Cell Energy Solutions GmbH announced that they were launching a new website, www.fces.de, to highlight their accomplishments and operations in the European market as well as potential future applications.  The website promotes several different opportunities for stationary fuel cells, such as grid support and on-site power for universities and industry.


This announcement comes at the same time as the completion of the first fuel cell module manufactured at their facility in Ottobrunn.  The module will be installed at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Berlin, Germany.


The full press release can be found here.


ACORE Publishes Transportation Energy Review - Includes California Hydrogen Roadmap Article Submitted by CAFCP 


On August 20, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) published a Transportation Industry Review, a digest of member-submitted journal articles that discuss challenges and corresponding opportunities related to renewable energy in the transportation sector.  


Among the eight articles submitted is "Deploying Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen in California," submitted by the California Fuel Cell Partnership's Chris White.


The full report can be found here. 


Federal Program News


Energy Department Announces $4.5 Million Investment to Lower Cost of Fuel Cells - 3M and Colorado School of Mines to Receive Grants


On August 1, the Energy Department announced a $4.5 million investment in two projects with the goal of lowering the cost, improving the durability, and increasing the efficiency of next-generation fuel cell systems.


Minnesota-based 3M will receive $3 million towards developing innovative fuel cell membranes with improved durability and performance using processes which are easily scalable to commercial size.  


The Colorado School of Mines will receive $1.5 million towards developing advanced hybrid membranes for cutting edge, next-generation fuel cells that are simpler, more affordable, and able to operate at higher temperature.


The full article can be found here


Plug Power and Nuvera Fuel Cells Receive DOE Contracts for Fuel Cells in Refrigerated Cargo Trucks


On August 23, the Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Office announced that both Plug Power and Nuvera Fuel Cells were awarded $650,000 to demonstrate the application of fuel cells for transport refrigeration units (TRUs) in semi-trailer trucks.  Over the 2-year contract period, each fuel cell TRU will run for a minimum of 400 hours using hydrogen supplied by Air Products. 


Almost all TRUs on the road today are powered by diesel generators, which generate harmful particulates and emissions and consume roughly 10 gallons of diesel fuel per day.  By using fuel cells, transport emissions would be dramatically reduced.  Additionally, customers who utilize fuel cell powered forklifts will  be able to leverage already in-place hydrogen fueling infrastructure.


A link to the full press release can be found here.

Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Tactical Electrical Power Unit Finds Success During Demo


On August 14, the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced that its Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Tactical Electrical Power Unit has recently demonstrated the ability to dramatically reduce fuel use in forward-operating bases compared to traditional diesel generators. The unit, which was demonstrated in June, decreased fuel consumption by up to 44 percent compared to a similar-sized 10 kilowatt generator.


The full press release can be found here

DOE July 24 Webinar Recording Posted Online


Slides and a recording of the July 24 DOE Analysis Related to H2USA are now available online.  The briefing by the EERE and Fuel Cell Technologies Office provided information on models, tools, and various analyses relevant to H2USA.  


H2USA is a new public-private partnership focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure and deploying fuel cell electric vehicles in the United States.


The presentation slides and recording can be found here.


DOE Webinar on Hydrogen Embrittlement Recording Posted Online


The Fuel Cell Technologies Office presented a webinar on August 13, 2013, on hydrogen embrittlement and its impact on hydrogen distribution and storage.  Specifically, the webinar examined the challenges and existing guidance for selecting structural materials for hydrogen service.


The presentation slides and recording can be found here.


Request for Papers, Proposals, and Information


DOE Releases Draft Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Fossil Energy Projects


On August 15, the Department of Energy released a draft advanced fossil energy solicitation as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan.  This would guarantee loans to advanced and innovative fossil energy projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas pollution.  


Fuel cells are among the sample projects supported in the draft solicitation, and the DOE is requesting feedback on potential opportunities for the fuel cell industry.  Up to $8 billion in loans will be made available by the department through the solicitation.


The draft solicitation will be open for comment until early September.  A link to the full press release can be found here.


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.


The Sponsors


Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association --  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry, and is dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. Fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies deliver clean, reliable power to leading edge corporate, academic and public sector users, and FCHEA members are helping to transform the our energy future. FCHEA represents the full global supply chain, including universities, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users.


National Energy Technology Laboratory --  The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system is owned and operated by the DOE.  Its mission is "Advancing energy options to fuel our economy, strengthen our security, and improve our environment".  NETL performs, procures, and partners with universities and the private sector.  Together, these efforts focus a wealth of scientific and engineering talent on creating commercially viable solutions to national energy and environmental problems.  NETL has expertise in coal, natural gas, and oil technologies, contract and project management, analysis of energy systems, and international energy issues.   NETL supports DOE's mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.  
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