U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Cell Project Includes Funds for Lift Truck Conversion

To expand the use of clean and renewable energy sources and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced $41.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for fuel cell technology.

As part of the effort to increase the use of fuel cells to power equipment, Anheuser-Busch will receive $1.1 million to deploy 23 fuel cell systems as battery replacements for a complete fleet of electric lift trucks at its facility in Fort Collins, Colo., demonstrating the economic benefits of large fleet conversions of forklifts from lead-acid batteries to fuel cell power units. Success in this project will lead to further fleet conversions at some or all of Anheuser-Busch’s other 11 U.S. facilities.

The department says these efforts will accelerate the commercialization and deployment of fuel cells and will create jobs in fuel cell manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and support services. The new funding will improve the potential of fuel cells to provide power in stationary, portable, and specialty vehicle applications, while cutting carbon emissions and broadening the United States’ clean energy technology portfolio.

“The investments we’re making today will help us build a robust fuel cell manufacturing industry in the United States,” said Secretary Chu. “Developing and deploying the next generation of fuel cells will not only create jobs—it will help our businesses become more energy efficient and productive. We are laying the foundation for a green energy economy.”

In addition, the funding includes approximately $72.4 million in cost-share funding from industry participants—for a total of nearly $114.3 million. This cost share demonstrates private sector commitment to developing and deploying these clean, energy efficient technologies.