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Hydrogen Fuel Station Will Be Powered by Wind

January 19, 2006

A power cooperative and a state university are planning a station in Minot, North Dakota to refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles. The station will run on wind power, according to an Associated Press report.North Dakota State University's North Central Research Center, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and equipment provider Hydrogenics Corp. will build the station using electrolyzer technology. The process, powered by the wind, puts electricity into water and splits it into hydrogen and oxygen, Hydrogenics spokeswoman Jane Dalziel said. The hydrogen then can be used for fuel, she said. Other refueling stations have been opened around the world, though this one is unique because it uses wind power, a renewable energy. Other hydrogen stations run on fossil fuels—a Catch-22 in the race to implement viable alternative energy sources.The project was sponsored by the federal Energy Department and announced by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., its organizers said. The electrolyzer is about the size of a room. Planners say the project is expected to be operating later this year. The next step will be evaluating what types of vehicles to use at the station, the AP reports.North Dakota has been called "the Saudi Arabia of wind." Green Car Congress reported recently that an analysis several years ago by GE Research concluded that North Dakotan wind has the potential to supply 1/3 of the electricity consumption of the lower 48 states.
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