Connecticut Fuel Cell Executives to Discuss Business Strategies

The global leadership of Connecticut business in the fuel cell field will be showcased in a panel discussion on, “Fuel Cells: Business Strategies of Connecticut’s Industry Leaders,” on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) Bowers Auditorium, 205 Prospect Street.

The panel discussion will be led by senior executives from Connecticut’s three fuel cell companies, including Bill Miller, president of UTC Fuel Cells in South Windsor, Jerry Leitman, president of Fuel Cell Energy in Danbury, and Trent Molter, senior vice president of Proton Energy in Rocky Hill. Arthur Diedrick, chairman of development, Office of the Governor, and chairman of Connecticut Innovations and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, will be moderator. A reception will follow the presentation to give attendees an opportunity to meet with the speakers.

Originally developed for NASA, fuel cells are emerging as a promising source of clean energy for a variety of commercial, residential, and transportation applications. A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electricity, heat, and water. Since fuel cells operate without combustion, emissions are greatly reduced. A fuel cell can operate at much higher efficiencies than internal combustion engines, extracting more electricity from the same amount of fuel.

Each of Connecticut’s three fuel cell companies has developed a niche in this growing market. UTC Fuel Cells is the only company in the world producing commercial stationary fuel cell systems. Proton Energy is developing a unique regenerative fuel cell system, which reversibly converts electricity to hydrogen, and hydrogen back to electricity as needed. Fuel Cell Energy’s products, unlike other fuel cell technologies, can use hydrocarbon fuels without the need to first create hydrogen in an external fuel processor.

The panel discussion is part of the 2002 Spring Lecture Series, “The Business of Sustainable Energy,” sponsored by the Yale Industrial Environmental Management (IEM) Program at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The series examines a variety of renewable and alternative energy technologies.

In its twelfth year, the IEM Spring Lecture Series brings speakers from a variety of companies to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to discuss the relationship between business and the environment. Other events in the 2002 series will address biodiesel fuel, solar energy, and the economics of renewable energy sources in the marketplace.

The IEM Spring Lecture Series is supported by the Joel Omura Kurihara Fund. Joel Kurihara, F&ES class of 1992, was committed to improving business and environmental relations and the type of dialogue this series seeks to advance. For further information regarding the lecture series, contact IEM at 432-6953 or iem@yale.edu.

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Dave DeFusco: david.defusco@yale.edu, 203-436-4842