March 2006

SCHFCA Showing at NHA Conference Successful
(full article )

Fuel cells to light USC sports? Gamecock facilities could be front line for new wave of power generators
(full article )

Web site Launched: Review membership opportunities and learn about SCHFCA

March 20, 2006

SCHFCA Showing at NHA Conference Successful

Columbia, SC -- The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance made a national debut on March 12, 2006 at the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference in Long Beach, CA. It is expected that over 500 contacts were made during the conference. Interest by members of the hydrogen community was great and those Alliance participants in attendance were pleased by the reception. Other than host state California, South Carolina was the only state-wide organization represented at the meeting.

The conference opened with a video satellite speech by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and attendees were treated to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for California's latest hydrogen fueling station in Oakland. As the country's largest hydrogen conference, attendees were able to browse the booths of 90+ exhibitors and learn about the latest advancement in hydrogen technology. The annual NHA Hydrogen Conference and Hydrogen Expo US will be held in San Antonio, Texas March 18 – 22, 2007. For more information visit .

The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance is a statewide initiative designed to promote the development and use of quality, cost effective and accessible hydrogen, fuel cells and related technologies. It serves as the primary facilitator on hydrogen initiatives within the state, with stated goals of developing a governing strategy for hydrogen initiatives and associated economies to enable long-term growth; providing education on the state’s available hydrogen resources and facilities; initiating and evaluating potential partnerships and collaborations for research initiatives; and supporting viable hydrogen demonstrations and projects for the state.

Contact: Fred Humes (803) 641-3300

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March 16, 2006
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Fuel cells to light USC sports?
Gamecock facilities could be front line for new wave of power generators

Fuel cells could be a new power behind USC baseball, if the university has its way.

The university wants to use hydrogen fuel cells to run scoreboards, lighting and other functions at its sports facilities. USC might even offer a fuel-cell company like Plug Power a partnership opportunity that puts the company’s name on the new baseball stadium.

USC is challenging fuel-cell industry leaders around the country to join an initiative to help make Columbia a world leader in fuel cells and other alternative energy applications.

The Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge was issued this week at the National Hydrogen Association’s Annual Conference in Long Beach, Calif.

The challenge is a project of the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, which includes USC, the city of Columbia, EngenuitySC and the S.C. Research Authority.

The challenge includes soliciting ideas from companies for partnering on projects in Columbia. The Collaborative’s partners will issue awards to help pay for projects.

“I would view this as a mosaic of opportunities,” said Tony Boccanfuso, USC’s director of research and economic development. “It could range from doing things like informal fuel-cell education programs to installation of fuel cells in the field.”

Patrick Serfass, a spokesman for the National Hydrogen Association, praised Columbia and said he is not aware of anyone doing anything on such a scale.

“It takes a major effort like this sometimes to get things jump started when there has not been a lot of precedence before,” Serfass said. “We need more projects like this to really get some technology actually implemented and used today.” <

Partners in the challenge are trying to leverage the opportunities that exist in Columbia with all the construction and renovation going on, Boccanfuso said.

“What we are trying to do is enhance demand by supporting in the marketplace the use of alternative energy sources, specifically fuel cells, in ways that will enhance our ability to gain exposure nationally and internationally,” Boccanfuso said.

The challenge is viewed as a multi-year, multi-phase, multi-million-dollar project.

The university is planning to incorporate fuel-cell technology into the Innovista, the research campus that will include 5 million square feet of labs, office space, mixed-use retail and housing.

Awarding naming rights to the baseball stadium to a fuel-cell company is an example of what else can be done, Boccanfuso said.

USC is looking to use fuel-cell technology not only at the new baseball stadium on the Congaree River, but also at Williams-Brice Stadium and the Colonial Center.

The city of Columbia is committed to finding ways to demonstrate fuel-cell technology in city buildings and other facilities, Mayor Bob Coble said.

“We want our staff to look for every conceivable way to use fuel cells,” Coble said. “We know that may mean we don’t take the low bid on something.”

The partners in the project also are committed to providing resources to support private companies that join the effort.

The Research Authority is prepared to invest up to $200,000 in any start-up fuel-cell company or any established company moving to Columbia.

The FuelCellSouth 2006 meeting, set for April 24-26 in Columbia, will include a session for potential industry partners to talk about what can be done in the region.

Thomas Hannum, director of sales for HyperComp Engineering in Brigham City, Utah, said he plans to attend. Hannum was in Long Beach for the National Hydrogen Association meeting.

Hannum said what Columbia is doing is breaking new ground. “This is very interesting and something I’m going to make a point of attending,” he said.

HyperComp, which focuses on advanced composite materials, is always looking for research institutions to partner with, Hannum said.

Discussions during the conference will be used to craft a request for proposals. Companies then will submit formal ideas.

The awards will be announced at a September event.

For more about the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge, visit

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