Governor Celebrates Maine’s First Renewable Hydrogen ProjectAugust 28, 2006 - TRC WISCASSET – Governor John Baldacci today joined Congressman Mike Michaud, representatives of the other Maine Congressional Delegation offices, and leaders of Maine’s energy and technology industries for the activation of the Chewonki Renewable Hydrogen Project. The Chewonki project is the first complete hydrogen energy system in Maine. The Governor said that he hopes further renewable hydrogen projects will be forthcoming in the state.“Creating a more sustainable energy future for Maine has been a top priority of my Administration,” said Governor Baldacci. “Some of Maine’s greatest economic assets are the vast renewable energy resources we have right here at home. Using these clean resources to create hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel in the transportation sector directly or to power fuel cells that can provide energy for buildings, industry and transportation represents a giant step forward in solving the huge energy and environmental challenges facing us.”The Chewonki project is a collaborative effort of the Hydrogen Energy Center, Chewonki, the Maine Technology Institute and private donors.The project unveiled today is designed to enable Maine people visit to learn more about hydrogen energy and its role in the state’s energy future. The facility will also demonstrate use of environmental technologies to education institutions, research laboratories, and other organizations. To further expand such opportunities in Maine, the Governor created by Executive Order a partnership to accelerate commercially viable hydrogen production and fuel cells.“Hydrogen represents a huge growth industry, and the creation of this Partnership will put Maine on the leading edge as this industry expands,” said the Governor. PriceWaterhouseCoopers projects that global demand for all fuel cell products will reach $46 billion per year by 2011 and will grow to more than $2.5 trillion per year in 2021.“To expedite the transition to the hydrogen energy future I am signing today this Executive Order to create the Maine Hydrogen Energy Fuel Cell Partnership,” continued the Governor. “The Partnership will speed the development and deployment of commercially viable hydrogen production, storage and distribution technologies; analyze opportunities to leverage federal research and development funds and other funding sources; and stimulate development of private firms that will build energy and fuel cell technology products at facilities located in Maine. This is an important step in moving Maine further down the path of energy independence and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”The text of the Executive Order Establishing the Maine Hydrogen Energy Fuel Cell Partnership follows.AN ORDER ESTABLISHING THE MAINE HYDROGEN ENERGY FUEL CELL PARTNERSHIPWHEREAS, on June 1, 2006, I signed into law “An Act To Enhance Maine’s Energy Independence and Security”, which law adopts a goal of increasing renewable energy resources in Maine by 10 percent by 2017, and adopts a policy that favors new renewable power resources within this state and new capacity resources that emit no greenhouse gases on net; and WHEREAS, in 2003, I signed into law “An Act to Provide Leadership in Addressing Climate Change”, which law sets a goal for the State of Maine to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and, in the long term, to levels sufficient to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate; andWHEREAS, I am committed to making Maine state government a leader by example with regard to sustainable energy practices that make Maine more energy independent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to adopting sustainable energy policies, practices, and programs statewide; andWHEREAS, the chemical element ‘hydrogen’ can be used as a storage medium for electric energy made from renewable energy resources and from resources with no net emissions of greenhouse gases, and can be taken from storage and converted to electricity with no net emissions of greenhouse gases; andWHEREAS, hydrogen can be manufactured in the State of Maine using Maine’s vast renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, tidal, hydroelectric, and biomass, which will help Maine achieve goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase its energy independence; andWHEREAS, the hydrogen manufactured from Maine’s renewable resources could be used as fuel for fuel cells to power equipment, including electronic devices, buildings, trains, ships and highway vehicles; andWHEREAS, the Maine Technology Institute and Maine Public Utilities Commission have helped fund projects to inform Maine businesses, tradespeople, government officials and consumers about renewable hydrogen technologies through demonstrations and workshops; andWHEREAS, a more rapid dissemination of information regarding these renewable hydrogen technologies is important to achieving the goals of energy independence and greenhouse gas emission reductions: NOW, THEREFORE, I, John E. Baldacci, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby establish the Maine Hydrogen Energy Fuel Cell Partnership (hereinafter “Partnership”). Purpose and DutiesThe purpose and duties of the Partnership are to:1. Accelerate the development and deployment of commercially viable hydrogen production, storage and distribution technologies; 2. Accelerate the development and deployment of commercially viable fuel cells; 3. Support the growth and development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell-related businesses in the state;4. Coordinate the dissemination of information regarding renewable hydrogen and initiatives for its manufacture and use;5. Identify members of the hydrogen energy and fuel cell business cluster;6. Identify and analyze the technical, scientific, financial, legal, and regulatory obstacles to the development of commercially viable hydrogen energy, fuel cell and related enabling technologies;7. Analyze the opportunities to leverage federal research and development funding and improve the competitiveness of Maine entities to attract such federal and other funding sources and to work with the Maine Congressional delegation to that end;8. Identify and develop the parameters, mission, and a pro forma budget for establishing and operating a hydrogen energy and fuel cell research and testing center which may be located at a qualified Maine institution of higher education;9. Develop an action plan, including funding recommendations, to address the identified needs of Maine’s hydrogen energy and fuel cell cluster and potential means to improve the global competitive position of the cluster; and10. Stimulate development of private firms that will build hydrogen energy and fuel cell technology products at facilities located in Maine with Maine labor, giving special attention to the efficiencies and other benefits of co-locating such hydrogen energy and fuel cell cluster industries within economic development facilities where research and development, manufacturing, testing, display and production can happen in a mutually-supportive way for maximum expansion of this industry cluster in Maine.Composition of the PartnershipThe Maine Hydrogen Energy Fuel Cell Partnership shall be composed of thirteen members, who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Governor, and will be comprised of the following: 1. The Director of the University of Maine’s School of Engineering Technology, and the Chair of the University of Maine’s Department of Chemistry, or their designees;2. Two members nominated by the Maine Hydrogen Energy Center;3. Two members nominated by the Chewonki Foundation;4. Three for-profit Maine business entities; 5. Three entities, from Maine or elsewhere, with strong experience in hydrogen energy or fuel cell development, to be nominated by the other members of the Partnership; and6. The chair of the Partnership.The members of the Partnership will serve without compensation.Chair of the PartnershipThe chair of the Partnership shall be an individual appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Governor, who will preside at, set the agenda for, and schedule Partnership meetings. The Governor shall select as the chair a person who has strong technical and strategic background in hydrogen energy and fuel cell technology, experience in the development of technology businesses, or other knowledge or experience that will help advance the work of the Partnership. The Governor may also designate a member of the Partnership to serve as vice-chair of the Partnership. Meetings, Reports and RecommendationsThe Partnership shall meet as often as needed, and all their meetings shall be open to the public. The Partnership shall report annually to the Governor on the work of the Partnership, and may submit recommendations to the Governor for state action or legislation needed to advance the work of the Partnership or the development and use of hydrogen energy and fuel cells.Effective dateThe effective date of this Executive Order is August 28, 2006.John E. Baldacci, GovernorFor more information contact: Dan Cashman, 287-2531 or Beth Nagusky, 287-4315NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.