Thu, Apr 8th, 2010

LOGAN – The Hocking College Energy Institute (HCEI) is benefiting from a grant from Ohio’s Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program. A $1.49 million grant, the largest award given in support of Ohio’s growing fuel cell industry, was given to NexTech Materials Ltd. of Lewis Center, in collaboration with Hocking College and The Ohio State University.

Key manufacturing equipment will be installed at the site of the newly constructed Hocking College Energy Institute in Logan and will provide a facility supporting NexTech and other Ohio companies in a range of energy generation and storage applications. Equipment includes:

  • Construction of a 40 foot by 50 foot clean manufacturing facility,
  • Construction of a laboratory with quality control testing equipment
  • Installation of a green electrolyte tape casting production machine for solid oxide fuel cell anode and cathode production
  • Installation of ceramic material processing equipment

The grant is part of the Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program supporting research and development that addresses the technical and cost barriers to fuel cell components and systems commercialization in Ohio.

According to Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, “Ohio Third Frontier is building a dynamic fuel cell network capable of meeting the demands of the new energy economy. Ohio’s leadership position in the fuel cell sector is because of strong collaboration with our industry partners and a commitment to creating jobs and companies that help strengthen Ohio’s position as a global energy leader.”

The grant funded project, Improving Manufacturing Readiness of NexTech’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stack Technology, is predicted to attract follow-on investment of over $50 million and to create 156 high-paying jobs by 2016.

"These partnerships in the emerging fuel cell industry add to the Ohio Third Frontier's proven track record of catalyzing research into innovation, and innovation into jobs," said Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut. "The alignment of higher education with Ohio’s businesses will give companies an edge in the global marketplace."

The Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program accelerates the development and growth of the fuel cell industry in Ohio by direct financial support to organizations seeking to: investigate near-term specific commercial objectives with respect to products, processes, or services; commercialize new products, commercialize manufacturing processes or technologies, or adapt or modify existing components or systems that can reduce the cost of fuel cell systems or address technical and commercialization barriers; or demonstrate market readiness.

“Through our targeted investments, Ohio is creating a vibrant fuel cell industry from end-users to integrators, and material suppliers to component suppliers,” said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of the Ohio Department of Development and Ohio Third Frontier Commission. “Ohio Third Frontier assists in developing the leading-edge research, development, and testing facilities that support the growth of Ohio’s robust fuel cell network.”

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