University of South Carolina praised for fuel cell project

The StateAugust 24, 2011 

Energy Secretary Steven Chu stepped briefly into USC’s innovative energy research district Tuesday, touring a portion of the multimillion-dollar development the university hopes will spearhead the way to world leadership in fuel cell technology.

Chu voiced his support for fuel cells as an alternative energy, saying critics had misrepresented his position amid budget discussions.

Chu’s stop in downtown Columbia came on the tail end of a daylong swing through the region aimed at drawing attention to the relationship between small business and a clean energy economy, including two stops in Orangeburg.

Researchers at the University of South Carolina put on a full-court press to tout the practical uses of hydrogen and fuel cells, such as fueling buses.

“I am very excited by what I’ve seen today,” Chu said after the USC tour.

Chu was accompanied on the tour by 6th District U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and officials representing the White House and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Chu heard a private presentation from USC president Harris Pastides, researchers and other hydrogen promoters in the Horizon Center at the corner of South Main and Blossom streets on several facets of the developing, first-of-its-kind integrated Fuel Cell District.

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