Yet another strategic alliance has been confirmed between a U.S. company and a large Japanese conglomerate, to develop fuel cells and hydrogen generation systems.ROCKY HILL, Connecticut 2002-02-28 [SolarAccess.com] Proton Energy Systems, Inc. a leader in practical applications of Proton Exchange Membranes (PEM’s) and other electrochemical technologies and products, says it has signed a Joint Development Agreement with Sumitomo Corporation, one of Japan’s largest companies. Under the 3 year agreement, Sumitomo will work with Proton to develop, sell and service PEM-based regenerative fuel cell and hydrogen generation systems. These include Proton’s HOGEN(R), UNIGEN(R), and FuelGen(TM) products, for Japanese markets, and include backup power, hydrogen generation, load leveling/peak shaving and renewable energy storage. Proton says it plans to design, assemble and conduct initial testing on development units to be shipped to Sumitomo. Proton will deliver the units and provide support and training essential for the installation and maintenance of the systems. The agreement provides that Sumitomo will purchase or rent an appropriate number of these units, on terms to be agreed, for placement at customer sites. They will assist with testing and provide feedback to Proton that will aid in the product design process. Sumitomo will also provide Japanese market, applicable legal and customer information to Proton. Both parties anticipate a commercialization agreement in the future. Sumitomo’s General Manager of Machinery & Systems, Kazuo Sasada says that: “Proton Energy Systems demonstrated the value of its key technology and products and we believe they will be of great interest to the Japanese market. We believe that great opportunities exist for Sumitomo and Proton to jointly serve the needs of these markets.” In terms of sales, Sumitomo Corporation , in its global role involving the exchange of goods, services and technology, claims to be one of the world’s largest businesses in terms of sales. Together with its consolidated subsidiaries and associated companies around the world, Sumitomo employs 33,810 people. Proton is currently manufacturing and delivering models of its hydrogen generators to customers for use in commercial applications. It says the UNIGEN(R) regenerative fuel cell system that it is now developing, will combine Proton’s hydrogen generation technology with a fuel cell power generator to create an energy device that is able to produce and store the hydrogen fuel it can later use to generate electricity.