Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program Awards $6.38 Million to Six Firms to Advance Fuel Cell Technology in 2010


On December 17th, Governor Ted Strickland, Eric Fingerhut, Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents and Chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, and Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director of the Ohio Department of Development and commission member, recommended $6.38 million in funding through the Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program. 

“Ohio Third Frontier is building a dynamic fuel cell network capable of meeting the demands of the new energy economy,” Strickland said. “Ohio’s leadership position in the fuel cell sector is because of strong collaboration with our industry partners and a commitment to creating jobs and companies that help strengthen Ohio’s position as a global energy leader.”  

The Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program supports research and development that addresses the technical and cost barriers to fuel cell components and systems commercialization in Ohio. The awards are contingent upon State Controlling Board approval. 

"These partnerships in the emerging fuel cell industry add to the Ohio Third Frontier's proven track record of catalyzing research into innovation, and innovation into jobs," said Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut. "The alignment of higher education with Ohio’s businesses will give companies an edge in the global marketplace." 

The Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program accelerates the development and growth of the fuel cell industry in Ohio by direct financial support to organizations seeking to: investigate near-term specific commercial objectives with respect to products, processes, or services; commercialize new products, commercialize manufacturing processes or technologies, or adapt or modify existing components or systems that can reduce the cost of fuel cell systems or address technical and commercialization barriers; or demonstrate market readiness. 

“Through our targeted investments, Ohio is creating a vibrant fuel cell industry from end-users to integrators, and material suppliers to component suppliers,” said Patt-McDaniel. “Ohio Third Frontier assists in developing the leading-edge research, development, and testing facilities that support the growth of Ohio’s robust fuel cell network.” 

Fiscal Year 2010 Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program Awards

Energy Technologies, Inc., located in the City of Mansfield (Richland County), in collaboration with Energy Conversion Devices, was awarded $1 million for its Testing Metal Hydride Fuel Cells project. The objective of this project is to develop and verify testing process and verification tools necessary to demonstrate the manufacturing repeatability of metal hydride fuel cell systems and their key subcomponents. 

Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems (US) Inc., located in the City of North Canton (Stark County), in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University, was awarded $999,770 for its Reliability of Fuel Cells for Megawatt Scale SOFC Power Systems project. This project will determine the long-term reliability of the Rolls-Royce solid oxide fuel cell. A method to predict performance will be developed so that qualification of the solid oxide fuel cell can be accelerated, and thereby reduce the time for entry into commercial stationary power markets. 

NexTech Materials, Ltd., located in Lewis Center (Delaware County), in collaboration with The Ohio State University and Hocking Technical College, was awarded $1.49 million for its Improving Manufacturing Readiness of NexTech’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stack Technology project. In this project, a key piece of fuel cell manufacturing equipment will be installed at Hocking College’s Energy Institute providing a facility at Hocking College that will support NexTech and other Ohio companies in a range of energy generation and storage applications. NexTech will also design and manufacture mechanically robust and efficient stacks for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. The program is predicted to attract follow-on investment of over $50 million, and to create 156 high-paying jobs by 2016.  

Wellman Products Group, a Division of Hawk Corporation, located in the City of Solon (Cuyahoga County), in collaboration with UTC Power, a division of United Technologies Corporation, was awarded $893,252 for its Phosphoric Fuel Cell Stack Cost Reduction project. The goal of this project is to lower the material costs of the integrated separator plates (ISPs) that will be incorporated into UTC Power’s new PureCell® 400 System, power plants by employing lower cost raw materials and processing methods. 

Lockheed Martin MS2 Integrated Defense Technologies, located in the City of Akron (Summit County), in collaboration with Technology Management, Inc., was awarded $1 million for its Military Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Ruggedization project. This project will accelerate time to market for solid oxide fuel cell based generator sets (gensets) and auxiliary power units (APUs) to the U.S. Department of Defense, which is an early adopter with a pressing need for the basic value proposition.. This will result in jobs at Lockheed Martin in Akron, as well as at Technology Management, Inc. and other partners in the Ohio fuel cell supply chain within the next five years. 

UltraCell Corporation, located in the City of Vandalia (Montgomery County), in collaboration with the University of Dayton Research Institute and Mound Technical Solutions, was awarded $1 million for its Transitioning the UltraCell XX55® 55-Watt Fuel Cell from Beta Design to Commercial Product Through Manufacturing project. This project will focus on implementing efforts to transition manufacturing of the XX55® from UltraCell’s research and development facility in California to its manufacturing plant in Ohio. 

To view Ohio Third Frontier’s Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report, as well as other program information, please visit www.OhioThirdFrontier.com.  

Ohio Third Frontier, an unprecedented and bipartisan commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs, has commercialized or created more-than 550 companies and attracted $3.5 billion in private investment to Ohio, a 9:1 return on investment since its inception. 


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