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Florida Hydrogen Initiative Announces 2005 Projects

Congressman Dave Weldon and the Florida Hydrogen Initiative (FHI) announced three hydrogen energy projects as part of a multi-million dollar effort to advance Florida’s hydrogen economy.

The projects include the installation of a fuel cell at a bustling Florida interstate rest area, a hydrogen energy museum exhibit at the Orlando Science Center and a plan for mobile hydrogen infrastructure in metro Orlando. “Florida is uniquely positioned to make positive contributions to our nation’s hydrogen future, for a variety of reasons,” said Congressman Weldon, “And I think the programs represented in these three grant awards illustrate that fact.” Over the last two years, FHI received $4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to support hydrogen projects in Florida. Following a technical review by state and federal hydrogen experts of more than 50 proposals, the FHI Board of Directors selected three initial projects for funding support in 2005: Clean Power for an Interstate Rest Area: A $550,000 grant to Ener1 will support the installation of a 10 kW fuel cell at an interstate rest area in Florida. The fuel cell will be powered by waste gases generated from processed citrus, Florida’s signature agricultural industry. Hydrogen Science Education: The Orlando Science Center will receive $199,500 to develop a ‘Hy-Tech’ museum exhibit showcasing hydrogen energy technology. Once completed, the traveling exhibit will be displayed in Orlando and at ten other museums statewide over the next three years to reach hundreds of thousands of visitors. Orlando as a Hydrogen Transportation Hub: Rollins College, Florida Atlantic University and Arizona State University will use a $160,000 grant to develop a hydrogen vehicle refueling infrastructure build-out plan for metropolitan Orlando. Analysts will use sophisticated computer modeling to evaluate data on traffic flow, tourist destinations, demographics, hydrogen vehicle range and other key information. “These three exciting projects add great value to Florida as an emerging center of the new hydrogen economy,” said FHI Chairman Steve Adams. “With the leadership of Congressman Weldon, Florida is establishing strong partnerships, supporting focused research and providing public education on the benefits of hydrogen energy for the Sunshine State.” The Florida Hydrogen Initiative is a nonprofit organization that seeks to move Florida to the forefront of the nation’s hydrogen economy. Fostered by the leadership of Congressman Weldon, FHI uses grants to aid the development of a vigorous Florida-based hydrogen industry. The nonprofit corporation is comprised of public leaders, university researchers, citizens and industry representatives.