South Carolina Opens Hydrogen Research Center, Launches Fuel Cell Alliance

February 15, 2006

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Deputy Energy Secretary Clayton Sell led a host of dignitaries at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the South Carolina Hydrogen Research Center on February 13. The new 60,000 square foot laboratory facility cost $9.2 million to build and is dedicated to hydrogen research, development, and commercialization. Center for Hydrogen Research is located in Aiken about 15 miles northeast of Augusta, Georgia.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River National Laboratory Hydrogen Technology Group will be the first tenant, and it is expected that researchers from industrial firms and nearby universities will participate in the future. For details about the ribbon cutting ceremony, see an Associated Press story published in the February 15 edition of The Island Packet.

The ceremony took place a month after the South Carolina Department of Commerce announced the formation of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance. The alliance is headed up by research directors of the state's preeminent research universities and the director of the DOE Savannah River National Laboratory and will serve as the primary facilitator of hydrogen initiatives in South Carolina.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford hailed the opening of the research center and the formation of the alliance. Sanford said, "Hydrogen may well be one of the leading technology growth areas in the state." For details, see the South Carolina Department of Commerce January 17 press release.