The U.S. Department of Energy has found some money behind the grant funding couch - $130 million to be exact - and wants to hand it over to people working on developing advanced fuel cell technologies. The couch in this case is the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative which, unsurprisingly given the name, is charged with helping research hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The $130m could also go to stationary fuel cell projects "to support market transformation that provide real-world operation data." The DOE said in a statement (available after the jump), that it expects the $130m to be split by up to 50 awardees like universities, national laboratories and industry players. Interested parties have until August 27 of this year to submit proposals. For more information, click here.

Also, the DOE is now using a fuel cell-powered Chevrolet Equinox in its fleet. The Equinox will be used by DOE employees in the Washington, D.C. area.


Press Release:

Department of Energy Seeks to Invest up to $130 Million in Advanced Fuel Cell Technology, Adds Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle to Fleet

5/28/2008

On May 27, 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $130 million over three years, subject to Congressional appropriations, to advance development and use of fuel cells for automotive, stationary and portable power applications. DOE's announcement is part of the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, which accelerates the pace of research and development (R&D) of hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

In addition to seeking proposals for R&D projects in the areas above, DOE is also seeking proposals to demonstrate fuel cells in distributed energy systems and to support market transformation that provide real-world operation data.

"Through the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, we have made great progress in reducing the cost and improving the durability of fuel cells. Today's investment will move us closer toward our goal of clean, reliable, durable, and cost-competitive fuel cell technology," Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy John Mizroch said. "Hydrogen fuel cell research and development is a critical component of our comprehensive strategy to commercialize and deploy advanced clean, renewable technologies that will allow us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and become less reliant on carbon-based fossil fuels."

The Department anticipates making up to 50 awards through this competitive funding opportunity, which is open to industry, universities, and national laboratories. With a minimum 20 percent private sector cost share for the R&D projects and a minimum 50 percent applicant cost share for the demonstration projects, the total DOE and private sector investment in advanced hydrogen fuel cell technologies under this funding opportunity may exceed $170 million.

Applications for the fuel cell funding opportunity are due on or before August 27, 2008, with funding subject to appropriations from Congress. For more information on this FOA, visit hydrogen.energy.gov.

DOE also expanded its fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, with the addition of a Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle. The new vehicle is a zero emissions vehicle powered by hydrogen; it will be used to transport DOE employees to official events and meetings in the Washington, DC area.

[Source: DOE]

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