South Carolina has once again been cited by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the top five states in the nation that are leaders in the development of fuel cell technology.
The new U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Office report, issued today, is titled State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2014.
In the report, California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina are rated the top five states for innovation in and support for fuel cell research and development.
“Almost a decade ago, South Carolina identified its strong capabilities in hydrogen and fuel cells technologies and began – through partnerships of government, business and academia – to nurture a growing fuel cell industry in the state,” the DOE report states, noting that since its last report:
- The University of South Carolina’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Center was ranked #1 in total funding ($54 million) out of the state’s 51 SmartState Centers. The SmartState Program, established in 2002, authorizes South Carolina’s three public research institutions (Clemson University, Medical University of South Carolina, and University of South Carolina) to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance the state’s economy. The SmartState Program has attracted more than $1.2 billion in non-state investment and has created more than 7,000 jobs. Funding comes from the state lottery. In June 2014, the university was awarded $3.2 million from the federal ARPA-E program.
- The South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance issued a report, Economic Development: South Carolina’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Cluster (Feb. 2014), with an Action Plan for continued growth of the industry.
- South Carolina legislature created a Distributed Energy Resource Program to increase distributed energy resources in the state. Energy utilities may choose to participate in the program, which will include resources up to 20 kW for residential and 1 MW for nonresidential DG. Hydrogen from renewable resources is defined as an eligible renewable generation resource under the program. New interconnection and net metering rules will be established.
“State policies and incentives have proven very effective in expanding the number of fuel cells in primary and backup power, vehicles, and materials handling equipment and are helping to grow the fuel cell industry,” said Morry Markowitz, executive director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. “Fuel cells are a clean and reliable energy technology that helps businesses and municipalities meet emission reduction goals and clean energy targets, while adding manufacturing jobs and growing our economy.”
The 82-page report devotes pages 33-37 to detailing the numerous initiatives in fuel cell technology development in South Carolina.