Release Date: March 25, 2009
NETL Building Hydrogen Production and Dispensing Facility at Yeager Airport
Morgantown, WV— The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) today announced its plans to construct and operate a hydrogen fuel production-and-dispensing facility at the Yeager Airport in Charleston, W.Va.
According to U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., “This project is a great example of the wonderful potential of coal. Coal can produce hydrogen fuel, which can greatly reduce greenhouse gases and our need to import foreign oil. Coal is abundant and remarkably versatile – particularly hydrogen produced from coal through gasification or coal-based power used to split water that provides a secure source of hydrogen fuel that will compete with imported petroleum. I am very pleased to be involved in helping this new hydrogen facility in West Virginia become a reality.”
The facility will use grid electricity to split water to produce pure hydrogen fuel. The fuel will then be used by Yeager Airport operations and the 130th Air Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard.
The West Virginia Department of Commerce’s Division of Energy has been instrumental in planning the facility.
“NETL has joined the West Virginia Division of Energy to show the potential of future energy technology today,” said Governor Joe Manchin. “The hydrogen fueling facility at Yeager will illustrate how we can find new and environmentally friendly ways to use coal-based power for transportation.”
NETL directs research and development in hydrogen energy to resolve the challenges that many of its most promising technologies face, especially the economics of production and use. NETL will begin operations in August 2009 and plans to conduct two years of testing and evaluation, providing nearly 20 jobs per year. The facility will also have the capability to “patch in” innovations and advancements in hydrogen technology.
“NETL’s open architecture approach to hydrogen fuel facilities is a first and will support industry in their pursuit of commercialization” stated Carl Bauer, director of NETL.
The Yeager Airport, operated by the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, provided the site for the facility.
“Yeager is proud to be the first site of hydrogen energy use in West Virginia,” stated Richard Atkinson, Yeager airport director. “As a transportation hub for the state, many people will have an opportunity to visit and learn about the importance of clean fuels for the future. It is impressive to transform two cents worth of water into an equivalent of one gallon of gasoline.”
The opening of the hydrogen facility will coincide with a hydrogen energy conference to be held August 17–19 in Charleston. Information about the conference is available at www.mountainstateshydrogen.com.
# # #
NETL has major research facilities in Albany, Ore.; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.