March 15, 2004

TPC $1.4M investment supports hydrogen-based backup power systems

Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) is investing an additional $1.4 million (beyond an initial $5.8 million) in a $21.9-million project to develop environmentally friendly, hydrogen-based backup power systems and hydrogen-based storage systems for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

The investment is part of a $4.25-million project amendment with Stuart Energy Systems to adapt its groundbreaking hydrogen generation technology - used in refuelling stations - toward the development of advanced hydrogen backup power generators and hydrogen-based storage systems for renewable energy sources.

Backup power units being developed through this project will use Stuart Energy Systems' proprietary technology to generate hydrogen from stored water, which could then be used to power critical systems during a power blackout. A prototype of this technology was successfully used at the company's Mississauga, Ont facility during the August 2003 blackout.

Generally, backup power generators are diesel-powered and create high levels of emissions. This new technology could reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide by 713 kilotonnes per year by 2010. A very large potential market - from residential to commercial - exists for this hydrogen backup power generator.

By adding a fuel dispenser module to the mechanism, Stuart Energy Systems' generators could also provide clean and safe hydrogen fuel, thereby providing companies with the ability to refuel their own hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Another application of this technology is the development of hydrogen-based storage units for renewable energy sources. Providing a way to store power generated by green energy options, such as solar and wind power, will support the renewable energy sector. The technology will store energy in the form of hydrogen during off-peak hours, allowing control of the amount of energy being generated by these methods and making them a more viable alternative energy source.

"Our work in developing hydrogen energy stations has opened up a new market for us, namely the backup power generation sector," said company president and CEO Jon Slangerup. "Our continued partnership with TPC will allow us to move forward with this application, creating new opportunities in the hydrogen economy."

"This type of technology will play an important role in enabling more long-term uses of hydrogen, such as the fuel cell and large-scale power generation," said Alan Lloyd, Member of the Canadian Hydrogen Technology Advisory Group and 2003 Chairman of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. "Not only will this kind of technology contribute to important environmental improvements, but it will also help establish an infrastructure that will benefit the entire hydrogen industry now and into the future."

Stuart Energy Systems has developed proprietary hydrogen generation water electrolysis technology which can be combined with products from corporate partners, to serve existing and emerging markets for power generation, transportation and industry. The company has an established record of developing hydrogen-related technologies in Canada. More information is available on the TPC Web site, http://tpc.ic.gc.ca.

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