The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) applauds the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy’s expanded use of fuel cells at military bases, the DOD will install 18 fuel cells at eight military bases around the country to ensure the availability of emergency and other essential services. “This is a real breakthrough,” said FCHEA Chairman Mike Hicks. “The fuel cell industry is proud to be a part of the military’s mission to reduce energy consumption and emissions, and become more self-sufficient.”
In announcing the agreement, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the fuel cell systems will “help reduce fossil fuel use and improve energy reliability at military installations across the country.” According to the DOE press release (link), fuel cells were preferred to other backup power options, including diesel generators, because they use no petroleum, are quieter, produce fewer pollutants and emissions, and typically require less maintenance. Said FCHEA’s Hicks, “This is American clean energy technology that is ready for broad commercialization. Fuel cells and hydrogen energy offer operational and strategic benefits — in this case, highly efficient, clean, silent, and ultra-reliable backup power. We are confident that the real world operation of these fuel cells will inspire our military to find new ways to use fuel cells and hydrogen energy to its advantage. We are grateful for DOD and DOE’s commitment to our technology.”
The project is an expansion of activities under the 2010 DOD-DOE Memorandum to Enhance Energy Security, which focuses on clean energy technologies to “address military needs and also may address national security needs that transcend military requirements.” In addition to critical backup power applications, the military is pursuing fuel cells for distributed baseload power generation from fossil and renewable fuels; fuel cell-powered unmanned fuel cell vehicles for land, sea, and air; and portable soldier power.
“After billions in private and public investment, this technology is beginning to pay dividends by providing critical energy solutions for our military, and giving the commercial and private sectors a competitive advantage,” said Hicks, pointing out that major corporations like Coca-Cola, Google, eBay, Sprint, Wal-Mart and Whole Foods are turning to fuel cells for power generation, backup power, and fuel cell-powered forklifts. “We look forward to working with Secretary Chu, the DOE, and the DOD to keep America in the lead on fuel cell and hydrogen technology, creating clean technology jobs, advancing our energy independence, and improving American energy security.”
About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association
The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the world’s premier advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. FCHEA and its membership are at the forefront of efforts to transform the energy network, fundamentally altering the way energy is generated and used. Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are commercially deployed today to solve critical problems in our energy infrastructure and deliver clean, reliable power to leading edge corporate, academic and public sector users. FCHEA’s membership represents the full spectrum of the supply chain from universities, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users.