Santee Cooper & Center for Hydrogen Research Announce Solar Plans

Santee Cooper and the Center for Hydrogen Research announced a contract that could advance research on hydrogen generation as a storage system for renewable energy sources. Santee Cooper is providing US $230,000 to the Center for the purchase of a solar photovoltaic (PV) array to help research applications of hydrogen as a storage solution for solar energy.

The PV array will be installed early in 2009 at the Center’s planned Education, Training and Development Laboratory at Aiken County’s Savannah River Research Campus. Part of Santee Cooper’s contribution will also be used for on-site and Internet-based education and research opportunities for students and the public. Funding is provided through Santee Cooper’s Green Power program.

“Santee Cooper is committed to pursuing new technologies that could expand the applications for renewable energy,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper’s president and CEO. “The Center for Hydrogen Research is leading the way in South Carolina, helping discover processes through which we can store solar and wind energy for use when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. This demonstration project also complements and enhances strategic hydrogen and fuel cell industries in South Carolina.”

The PV array would convert sunlight into electricity, which would then produce hydrogen through electrolyzing water. Hydrogen could be converted back to electricity using fuel cells, and it could power hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

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