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DOE to Build Hydrogen Fuel Test Facility at West Virginia Airport

March 25, 2009 - 1:00pm

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Washington, DC - The Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) today announced plans to construct and operate a hydrogen fuel production plant and vehicle fueling station at the Yeager Airport in Charleston, W.Va.

The facility will use grid electricity to split water to produce pure hydrogen fuel. The fuel will be used by the airport's operations and the 130th Air Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard.

NETL will begin operations at the Yeager Airport facility in August 2009 and plans to conduct two years of testing and evaluation. The facility will be designed using "open architecture," allowing the capability to add innovations and advancements in hydrogen technology as they become available.

The Yeager Airport facility represents a research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) platform supporting NETL's Hydrogen Systems Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to demonstrate the feasibility of hydrogen fuel as a safe and competitive alternative to petroleum. NETL envisions that in the long term, hydrogen will be produced from coal. Alternatively, the electricity for the hydrolysis of water will come from coal-based power generation. Two similar facilities are being planned for West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

DOE funding for the Yeager Airport project is $2.6 million, with industry contributing $625,000. It is expected that this project will create 16-47 jobs over the next three years.

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