“North Carolina will be home to the nation’s largest private fuel cell energy project, a nonpolluting, silent power plant that will generate electricity from hydrogen,” The News & Observer reports.
“Apple (yes, that Apple) filed its plans with the N.C. Utilities Commission on Thursday to build the 4.8-megawatt project in Maiden, about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. That’s where Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has built a data center to support the company’s iCloud online data storage system and its SIRI voice-recognition software,” The News & Observer reports. “The fuel cell project, the nation’s largest such project not built by an electric utility company, will be developed this year. It will be located on the same data complex that will host a planned 20-megawatt solar farm — the biggest ever proposed in this state.”
The News & Observer reports, “But it’s the fuel cell project that’s generating buzz, eclipsing anything ever dreamed of in California, the nation’s epicenter for fuel cell projects. ‘That’s a huge vote of confidence in fuel cells,’ said James Warner, policy director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association in Washington. Fuel cells generate electricity through an electro-chemical process and are compared to batteries that give out power as long as they have a source of hydrogen.”
“The feds offer a 30 percent tax credit, but no incentive is available for fuel cells in North Carolina, making Apple’s project all the more intriguing. Apple is also developing miniature fuel cells to power laptop computers,” The News & Observer reports.According to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fuel cells are among the world’s most expensive forms of electricity, costing $6.7 million per megawatt, which would put Apple’s project in the $30 million range. According to information on the company’s website, the fuel cell facility could be in operation toward the end of the year. Beyond that information, Apple officials would not comment on the project. Charlotte-based Duke Energy, which is likely to buy the electricity output from Apple, referred all questions to Apple.”
Read more in the full article here.
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Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011
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