Town of Hempstead Creates Closed Loop: Wind Turbine Powers Fuel Cell Cars

We don’t hear much about fuel cells and hydrogen these days to run cars, but the Town of Hempstead on Long Island, NY just hooked up a wind turbine to power their cars.

A 100-kilowatt wind turbine will provide the energy to create hydrogen gas, which will be used to power the town’s fuel cell cars.

The 121 foot-tall wind turbine, powered by winds coming off the ocean, will supply 180 megawatts of power a year, providing an almost continuous source of energy to facilitate a water-to-hydrogen process.

The resulting hydrogen fuel will be dispensed at Long Island’s only hydrogen fueling station, located adjacent to the turbine. The hydrogen will be pumped into the town’s Toyota fuel-cell vehicles and a hydrogen/natural gas bus.

Any excess energy generated by the wind turbine will be sent to the local electric grid.

The US Dept of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program gave the town a $4.6 million grant, some of which was used to procure the wind turbine, which cost about $615,000. The grant is also financing construction of a 60,000 solar panel park, a solar-powered carport and a geothermal project that will address heating and cooling needs at the town’s Conservation and Waterways facility.

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