Columbia Hydrogen Fueling Station Now Open

SCRA
Jill Hirsekorn
Office 843.760.3329 Cell 843.819.5115
[email protected]

Ceremony will be held at the Fueling Station on Williams Street

COLUMBIA, SC – March 30, 2009 – The partners of the USC-Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative announce today that the Columbia Hydrogen Fueling Station is now operational and open for business. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held today at 1:00 p.m. with the following dignitaries scheduled to speak:
· Bobby Harrell, Speaker of the SC House of Representatives
· Bob Coble, Mayor of the City of Columbia
· Dr. Harris Pastides, President of The University of South Carolina
· Dan Raudebaugh, CEO, Center for Transportation and the Environment
· Bill Mahoney, CEO, SCRA

The fueling station forms critical infrastructure to support hydrogen portability, mobility and transportation applications and commercialization opportunities. The station commences service as a hub for design and execution of pending projects with private, public and military researchers and customers. The station is designed and deployed as a phase 1 implementation, enabling follow-on phases involving hydrogen production from renewable sources.

The Columbia ceremony is being held in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning by The Center for Hydrogen Research in Aiken, South Carolina. The events mark the inaugural drive on the “South Carolina Hydrogen Freeway”, an important step in building the state’s new hydrogen refueling capability.

Speaker Bobby Harrell will arrive at the Columbia station from Aiken today riding in The Center for Hydrogen Research’s hydrogen-powered truck, at which time the Columbia ribbon-cutting will commence. Additional “ride and drive” vehicles include a Kia Borrego fuel cell-powered SUV.

The station’s first “customer” is the Federal Transportation Administration’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which is providing a fuel cell-powered bus for demonstration in Columbia. The bus will operate in Columbia for a year as part of a three-year site test program. Additional station partners are The Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) and the Gas Technology Institute. South Carolina partners include Greenfield Compression, the Boudreaux Group and Mashburn Construction.

“In the race to develop hydrogen into our nation’s next viable energy source, South Carolina has been a leader every step of the way,” said House Speaker Bobby Harrell. “The Columbia Hydrogen Fueling Station could very well represent the gas stations of tomorrow, however the only byproduct this fuel produces is clean water.”

“The fueling station is another step toward making Columbia a leader in fuel cell technology,” said Bob Coble, Mayor of the City of Columbia. “Our congressional leaders, like Jim Clyburn, have been instrumental in making these important projects possible.”

USC President Dr. Harris Pastides said that “the Columbia Fueling Station ensures that our vision to transform the midlands region through innovation and knowledge creation is in full force.”

Neil McLean, EngenuitySC Executive Director said that “this fueling station is another positive step in our 20-year strategic plan for growing the hydrogen and fuel cell cluster in South Carolina.”
Dan Raudenbaugh, CTE’s CEO said “CTE is proud to bring together such an exceptional team of public and private partners to help advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the region.”

“The completion of the Columbia and Aiken fueling stations represents a clear commitment by business, economic development , academic and political leaders in the state to grow and develop a hydrogen and fuel cell economy, said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. “We are pleased to lead investment and execution in this and other projects that fulfill SCRA’s legislative mandates through the Innovation Centers and Industry Partnership acts.”

Under program and contract management by SCRA on behalf of the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, the Columbia fueling station project met its objective of attaining operational status in time for the National Hydrogen Association conference, which will be held in Columbia next week.

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About The USC-Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative
The University of South Carolina – City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative was formed by the University of South Carolina, the City of Columbia, EngenuitySC and SCRA to position Columbia, SC as a leader in hydrogen fuel cell innovation and technology. Its mission is to attract private sector partners, top fuel cell scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators to the Columbia region. For more information, visit: www.fuelcellchallenge.com

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