SBIR Phase I: A Hydrogen Fuel Demonstration Project at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0741121
Agency Tracking Number: 0741121
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
PO Box 58740, Fairbanks, AK, 99711
DUNS: 085192227
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Gwen Holdmann
 (907) 590-4577
Business Contact
 Gwen Holdmann
Title: BA
Phone: (907) 590-4577
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will build on an existing 400 kilowatt binary geothermal power plant. This power plant can supply more electricity than is needed during normal business operations, and because the grid is completely isolated due to its remote location (North Pole, Alaska), there is no use for this excess power. This project will use the excess electricity which would otherwise go to waste; to generate hydrogen on a continual basis. Stranded geothermal energy is an ideal renewable resource to tap for hydrogen production due to its high availability and relatively low cost of power generation equipment. Additionally, small scale, remote hydrogen production and use in arctic climates present unique technical challenges which will be quantified and addressed as part of this project. This project will further enable the transfer of technology to native Alaskans in other rural communities in Alaska. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be the ability to significantly address the increasing cost of power generation in remote communities; such as those in Alaska. According to the Alaska Energy Authority, the cost of power generation in rural villages can approach 90 cents per kilowatt/hour (kWhr) using diesel generators, and averages 46 cents per kWhr. High fuel costs and evidence of global climate change are strong motivators for seeking alternatives to traditional generation technology, and create an opportunity for Alaska to become a leader in renewable energy and fuel storage technology. There is growing consensus about the importance of developing renewable resources for long term economic well-being in the face of declining oil production and rising fuel costs. Alaska is an energy producing and exporting state, and while today this energy is primarily derived from fossil fuels, Alaska has the resources available to transition into becoming a vital player in a future world renewable energy and hydrogen economy.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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