Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Xcel and NREL team up to make hydrogen with wind power

Xcel Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are showing off a Colorado facility that uses electricity from wind turbines to make and store hydrogen.

The facility links electrolyzers to wind turbines, which pass the electricity through water to split the molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be stored to make electricity from a generator or a fuel cell. The only by-product from the process is water.

In a release, Xcel President and CEO Dick Kelly, said:

"Today we begin using our cleanest source of electricity - wind power - to create the perfect fuel: hydrogen. Converting wind energy to hydrogen means that it doesn't matter when the wind blows since its energy can be stored on-site in the form of hydrogen."

The two-year project is funded by Xcel and NREL at a total of $2 million.

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