ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of stationary fuel cell units, has been awarded with a $2.8 million grant from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The money will help the company introduce their products to the U.S. market much sooner than anticipated. ClearEdge is targeting hotels, grocers, schools and medical centers for their stationary fuel cells, which are capable of producing more than 5-kilowatts of electricity per hour. The grant from PNNL is part of an overarching project from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Department of Energy has been throwing more support behind hydrogen fuel cells of late, despite severe budget cuts to the technology earlier in the year. The move to support hydrogen fuel aligns with the Department’s goal of energy independence.
By accepting the grant, ClearEdge has also entered into an agreement with PNNL to install 38 of its fuel cell system for ten organizations from around the country. Researchers at the Laboratory will have access to the performance records of the fuel cells for the first two years of their operation. The grant funds half of the project.
Fuel cells have been proving themselves to be much more efficient than the Department of Energy had originally thought. The grant may be a sign that the technology is gaining traction amongst policymakers as a viable fuel source. The DOE continues to support a variety of alternative energy projects, however, and hydrogen remains but a small factor in the grand scheme.