In addition to the integrated technology validation projects sponsored by DOE, universities, along with state and local government entities throughout the world are partnering with industry to demonstrate integrated hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in real-world applications.
GM/DOW Chemical Partnership
Dow Chemical Company and General Motors are collaborating to demonstrate the viability of using hydrogen fuel cells to generate power for a large-scale industrial facility. Dow's chemical production plant in Freeport, Texas, produces hydrogen as a byproduct of its manufacturing operations. This hydrogen will be used in GM fuel cells to generate some of the electricity required to run the plant. In February 2004, the first 75-kW fuel cell began operation. Eventually, Dow and GM plan to install up to 400 fuel cells to generate 35 MW of power, or about 2% of the total electricity required at the facility.
Grimstad Renewable Energy Park (Norway)
The Grimstad Energy Park, opened in June 2000, is a work in progress. The goal of the Energy Park is to study integrated systems and to provide information to the public by demonstrating different aspects of renewable energy and hydrogen technology. The park is designed for studying integrated energy systems. Photovoltaic cells and thermal solar collectors provide renewable power for the electrolyzer. Three heat pumps collect heat from four 150-meter deep boreholes, which are also connected to the solar collectors. The electrolyzer produces hydrogen, which can be stored on-site or fed to a 2.5-kW alkaline fuel cell stack to provide additional power for the Energy Park.
Island of Utsira (Norway)
Utsira is a small, wind-swept island located off the west coast of Norway. Today, electricity is supplied to the island by an under-sea cable connection from the mainland. By tapping into the island's wind resource (average wind speed of 22 miles per hour), Utsira could produce all the energy it needs. The electrolyzer manufacturer, Norsk Hydro, in partnership with Utsira, has embarked on a pioneering project to demonstrate how wind power and hydrogen can provide all the electricity and fuel needed for the small island. Two 600-kW wind turbines will generate electricity for the island. Excess electricity will be used to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen will be stored until needed, both for power supply when the wind turbine is not operating and as a fuel for the island's vehicles and boats.