Project Combines Fuel Cells, Photovoltaics

The latest project developments Michigan’s NextEnergy hydrogen research and alternative fuels facility will be a hybrid generator combining fuel cells and solar energy.

Farmington Hills, Michigan – November 21, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] DTE Energy Technologies signed a US$5.4 million contract with NextEnergy to develop, construct, operate and maintain a state- of-the-art Microgrid in the Power Pavilion on the NextEnergy site in Detroit. The Microgrid project, fueled by hydrogen, natural gas and sunlight will include the use of several emerging on-site energy technologies, including fuel cells, internal and external combustion engines, miniturbine technology and photovoltaic (PV) cells. The Microgrid will also include underground electrical and thermal distribution systems to provide electricity, heating and air conditioning to the NextEnergy facility. In addition, the Microgrid will have the capability to serve the broader energy needs of the prospective buildings to be located within “Tech Town,” a research and business technology park under development on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit. NextEnergy was created to advance the understanding, research, development, commercialization and manufacturing of alternative energy technologies for both stationary and vehicular power systems and establish Michigan as a leader in these technologies. The NextEnergy facility will include a 5,600-square-foot Power Pavilion, which will house the Microgrid, a hydrogen fueling infrastructure, office space, as well as a laboratory, and product demonstration and exhibition facilities. The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2004. “We look forward to working with NextEnergy to help promote alternative energy,” said G. Paul Horst, president, DTE Energy Technologies. “This project will establish Michigan as the leader in this type of technology and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise with the development of the Power Pavilion.”
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