Progress Energy Invests in Future Energy Sources

Progress Energy announced a commitment of $1 million to Microcell Corp., a Raleigh-based company working to bring commercially available fuel cell applications to industrial, commercial and consumer markets.

“The future of energy and electricity is bounding with possibilities and untapped resources, and Progress Energy will continue to be involved in researching and demonstrating promising new technologies,” said Fred N. Day, Progress Energy Carolinas president and CEO, and a member of the Microcell Corp. board of directors. The Microcell fuel cell is a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) converted to the form of a microfiber. It differs from other fuel-cell designs (in that all the fuel cell components are extruded into a single microfiber) and shows promise for its potential to be mass-produced more efficiently than other designs. Microcell Corp. has developed its first fuel cell cores designed for 1-kW units, and testing is under way. One potential application for fuel cells is in operating distributed generation, or power plants located on or near the customer’s property. The technology also has potential applications in the automotive industry, including the ongoing development of hybrid gasoline/hydrogen vehicles. Progress Energy is a diversified energy company with more than 24,000 MW of generation capacity. The company’s holdings include two electric utilities serving more than 2.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
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