|Public is invited to ride, drive hydrogen fuel cell vehicles|
The public will have an opportunity to ride in and/or drive two hydrogen fuel cell vehicles Friday, Sept. 5, as part of the Energy & Environmental Research Center's (EERC's) National Center for Hydrogen Technology (NCHT) Building Dedication.
General Motors (GM) is providing four Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) for the ride-and-drive. The vehicles are powered by GM's fourth-generation hydrogen fuel cell system. The vehicles use no petroleum, and zero greenhouse gases are released. The only emission is clean water vapor. Chevrolet has launched a market test fleet of 100 Chevy Equinox electric vehicles in large metropolitan areas such as New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
The ride-and-drive will take place in the EERC's west parking lot immediately following the NCHT building dedication ceremony, which begins at 9:30 a.m.
The dedication ceremony will include remarks from North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven, Sen. Byron Dorgan, Sen. Kent Conrad, and Rep. Earl Pomeroy. Comments will also be made by EERC Director Gerald Groenewold, Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown, East Grand Forks Mayor Lynn Stauss; North Dakota University System Chancellor Bill Goetz; and University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley.
Construction on the $3.5 million, 15,000-square-foot NCHT facility began April 17, 2006.
The facility is designed to significantly enhance the strategic research, development, testing, and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies at the EERC. The building includes specialized state-of-the-art equipment to provide solutions for the world's growing energy needs and, at the same time, opportunities for regional economic growth.
"This facility provides a cornerstone to address this nation's enormous challenge of developing new technologies to guarantee the country's energy security for the long-term," said Groenewold. "Hydrogen is not only a key bridge to energy security, but also a key solution to managing our carbon footprint."
"I wrote a provision in law creating the NCHT and have secured funding through my Appropriations Committee work because of the world-class research and development capabilities at the EERC regarding hydrogen technology," Sen. Dorgan said. "This cutting-edge activity is just another incredible thing happening in the Red River Valley Research Corridor, which has bolstered North Dakota's high-tech sector. Also, the product of this research and development at the NCHT will help our country reduce its dangerous dependence on foreign energy."
The EERC was designated by the NCHT in 2004 and was awarded a package of federal dollars designated by Sen. Byron Dorgan in recognition of over 50 years of hydrogen research involving fossil and renewable energy. The NCHT is one of the EERC's 10 Centers of Excellence.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony, reception, and self-guided tours of the facility will follow the dedication.