February 2007

02.5.2007
USC grad to lead hydrogen push
(full article)

02.5.2007

South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance names Executive Director
(full article)

February 5, 2007

USC grad to lead hydrogen push

S.C. native helped develop alternative fuel program at California Environmental Protection Agency

Charleston-area native who helped develop California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hydrogen Highway will help South Carolina coordinate its hydrogen and fuel cell efforts.

Shannon Baxter-Clemmons, former assistant secretary for hydrogen and alternative fuels policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency, will become executive director of the S.C. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance on March 1.

In an exclusive interview with The State, Baxter-Clemmons said she wants to see South Carolina “ develop a little more detailed blueprint” for finding its position in the hydrogen economy.

The state needs to keep in mind what is going on at both the national level and in other states “ to find the right path for South Carolina,” she said.

Baxter-Clemmons believes S.C. has the resources to compete in the hydrogen economy but the state is not getting the recognition it should.

South Carolina is not among the commonly acknowledged top five states — California, Florida, New York, Ohio and Michigan — in hydrogen and fuel cell development.

“But maybe it should be,” she said. “We have to work on our messaging a little bit. Work on getting the word out to the right folks.”

She said her biggest concern, not just for South Carolina, but for the nation as a whole in developing hydrogen as an alternative energy source is that people will become frustrated because things don’t happen quickly enough.

“Let’s be honest: This is not something that is going to happen by the end of the week. It is going to take time. It is going to take planning,” she said.

Fred Humes, the alliance’s chairman, said Baxter-Clemmons’ “work in California in support of the governor’s hydrogen program, gives her a breadth of experience that will be put to good use in South Carolina.”

She has both the scientific and technical knowledge and the public policy experience, Humes said.

“We’ve got a story to tell, and now we’ve got somebody who can tell it,” Humes said.

The S.C. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance is a nonprofit organization founded in January 2006 with six core members: the Center for Hydrogen Research in Aiken, the Savannah River National Laboratory, the S.C. Department of Commerce, Clemson University, USC and S.C. State University.

It also has begun attracting some industry members, including Millennium Cell and John Deere.

The alliance is tasked with facilitating hydrogen initiatives in the state. It is housed in the S.C. Department of Commerce, although the organization is not a part of the department.

Funding from the alliance has come through Gov. Mark Sanford’s budget approved by the legislature.

Baxter-Clemmons received her doctorate in chemical engineering from USC in 1999. Her graduate research on direct methane fuel cells was conducted at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. She is the former director of special projects at Fuel Cells 2000 in Washington, D.C.

While in California, Baxter-Clemmons contributed to the development of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and managed a number of landmark studies on the commercialization of alternative fuel cell vehicles.

The California Hydrogen Blueprint Plan that Baxter-Clemmons headed was adopted by Gov. Schwarzenegger in May 2005 as the state’s hydrogen policy agenda. The California legislature endorsed the Blueprint by funding a multimillion-dollar, multi-year implementation program.

The Hydrogen Highway initiative is designed to create a clean, hydrogen transportation economy in California, reducing both dependence on foreign oil and air pollution. It would create 100 hydrogen fueling stations on heavily traveled roads by 2010.

Baxter-Clemmons said she was impressed by the unity she sees in South Carolina on moving toward a hydrogen economy.

“It looks like a very unified decision to move in this direction. You see folks that want to increase the knowledge economy, bring more jobs, want to keep bright students in this state,” she said.

She joked that she left USC because “they ran out of degrees and they wouldn’t give me tenure. I had to leave.”

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February 5, 2007
(view original press release)

South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance names Executive Director

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance has selected Shannon Baxter-Clemmons, Ph.D. of the California Environmental Protection Agency as the Alliance’s Executive Director. Beginning March 1, Baxter-Clemmons will be responsible for coordinating the development and promotion of hydrogen and fuel cell initiatives across the state.

Baxter-Clemmons previously served as the Assistant Secretary for Hydrogen and Alternative Fuels Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency. During her time in California, she led the development of the California Hydrogen Blueprint Plan, which was adopted by Governor Schwarzenegger in May 2005. She also contributed to the development of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and managed a number of landmark studies on the commercialization of alternative fuel vehicles.

“It is especially exciting that Dr. Baxter-Clemmons, a young professional from South Carolina and a graduate of USC, is taking over the reins of South Carolina’s hydrogen and fuel cell initiative,” said Fred Humes, Chairman of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance. “Her work in California in support of the Governor’s hydrogen program, gives her a breadth of experience that will be put to good use in South Carolina.”

Before locating to California, Baxter-Clemmons was employed as Director of Special Projects at Fuel Cells 2000 in Washington, DC.

“It's an honor to come home and have an opportunity to serve the citizens of South Carolina,” said Baxter-Clemmons. “The members of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance have been working hard to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies that can secure the energy future of our state and nation.”

South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance offices will be housed within the South Carolina Department of Commerce in Columbia where Baxter-Clemmons received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Carolina in 1999. Her graduate research on direct methanol fuel cells was conducted at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago

“I am happy to be back in the Palmetto State and look forward to building on the good work of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance members,” said Baxter-Clemmons

 

The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance, SCHFCA, is a nonprofit organization founded in January 2006 from six core members dedicated to hydrogen and fuel cell initiatives: the Center for Hydrogen Research, Clemson University, the Savannah River National Laboratory, SC Department of Commerce, S.C. State University and the University of South Carolina.

In its first year, SCHFCA has introduced hydrogen-related legislation in our state and secured a significant industry meeting, the 2009 National Hydrogen Association conference. The conference is expected to bring more than $1 million in economic impact to the Columbia area through the attendance of hundreds of exhibitors and participants. SCHFCA has also sponsored a national student design competition and developed a plan for a statewide hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

SCHFCA is leading the way towards making South Carolina a significant contributor to the national and international hydrogen economies. For more information on the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance, please visit www.SCHydrogen.org.

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