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Department of Energy Seeks to Invest up to $130 Million in Advanced Fuel Cell Technology

May 27, 2008 - 11:59am


DOE Expands Transportation Fleet to Include Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $130 million over three years, subject to Congressional appropriations, to advance the 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 that accelerates the pace of research and development (R&D) for hydrogen-powered fuel cells.  In addition to the FOA opportunity, today DOE expanded its own fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles with the addition of a Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle.

"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."

In addition to seeking proposals for R&D projects in the areas of  transportation, stationary, and portable power, DOE is also seeking proposals to demonstrate fuel cells in distributed energy systems and to support market transformation that provide real-world operation data.  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 the Hydrogen Program website.

DOE's new Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle is a zero emissions vehicle powered by hydrogen and will be used to transport DOE employees to official events and meetings in the Washington, DC area.

Photo of the delivery of DOE's new Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle