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Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Holds its First Annual Fuel Cell Investment Summit

Brings Together Domestic and International Attendees to Stimulate Investment in Fuel Cell Technology

(Uncasville, Connecticut – March 18, 2003) – At a time when the importance of fuel cell development is becoming more evident across the country, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), in collaboration with the U.S. Fuel Cell Council and Fuel Cells 2000, held its inaugural Fuel Cell Investment Summit to stimulate further investment and interest in the clean, reliable and environmentally friendly technology. The international event, which took place at the fuel cell-powered Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., on March 17 and 18, had 22 exhibitors and over 200 attendees.

“Connecticut doesn’t have the huge waves, steady sunshine or constant high winds some other technologies require. What we do have in abundance, however, are talented people and organizations with advanced knowledge of fuel cell technology and the innovative spirit and tradition necessary to develop fuel cells’ potential,” said Arthur H. Diedrick, chairman of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. “Connecticut is home to several large developers and manufacturers of fuel cells and a host of smaller, related companies. With these businesses, university research centers and smart public policies, we are well positioned to lead the nation as the global market for fuel cell expands.”

The program included remarks by several leading clean energy technology experts. Dan Reicher of Northern Power Systems brought significant market and regulatory insight, gained from his experience as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, to the Summit. Attendees also heard from Susan Kemp, a dedicated engineering professional. She is president of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) International and manager of advanced technology planning at Pratt & Whitney. Another specialist at the event was Rocky Mountain Institute’s Dr. Joel Swisher, who is internationally recognized in the analysis, design and evaluation of building-energy systems, utility energy efficiency, distributed generation and emission reduction programs. And Steven Glaser of Fuel Cell Europe, a fuel cell industry association recently formed as an activity of the World Fuel Cell Council, provided his expertise to attendees at the Summit as well. He achieved an extensive knowledge of the sector through working with almost every fuel cell developer at both the senior/CEO and grass-roots/R&D; levels.

In addition, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund organized seven panels for the two-day program. The panel:

• “Sparking Fuel Cell Commercialization – The Next Five Years” gave an overview of the fuel cell industry, technology, codes and standards and interconnections.
• “End-User Experience” discussed the expectations and lessons learned from the fuel cell end user.
• “Taking Charge of Your Own Destiny” talked about the future in state funding and public benefit funds.
• “An Attractive Investment despite the Risks” covered the business cases from private investors and venture capitalists.

• “Cleaner, Greener Tomorrow – Transportation’s Effect on Fuel Cell Commercialization” explained the technology comparison from an end-user perspective, progress and future scenarios for end users, supplier/user perspectives and market forces.
• “The International Fuel Cell Race” included perspectives and programs from the international community.
• “Successes and Opportunities” explored how government has succeeded and what lies ahead.

At the close of the first day, attendees heard commentary from Bob Rose, executive director of the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, and attended a cocktail reception, where they could listen to music from Protium, the world’s first PEM fuel cell-powered band. Four local fuel cell company representatives shared their industry perspectives at the end of the second day. The group, which fielded questions by Arthur Diedrick, consisted of Gary Mook, Acumentrics Corporation; Herb Nock, FuelCell Energy, Inc.; Frank Prelli, UTC Fuel Cells; and Walter (Chip) Schroeder, Proton Energy Systems, Inc. Following the session, interested attendees participated in a fuel cell tour.

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s goal for this annual fuel cell event is to provide domestic and international attendees with the opportunity to:

• Learn about funding opportunities for fuel cell development and deployment;
• Network with well-known leaders and supporters of the fuel cell industry;
• Learn about fuel cell technologies and the business case for investing in fuel cells;
• Observe fuel cells in operation;
• Learn about fuel cell activities in the United States, Europe and Asia; and
• View the showcase of products or services available in the fuel cell industry.

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, administered by Connecticut Innovations, invests in enterprises and other initiatives that promote and develop sustainable markets for energy from renewables and fuel cells that will benefit the ratepayers of Connecticut.

Administered by
Connecticut Innovations
© 2002 Connecticut Clean Energy Fund