The race to develop a commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell just got a boost from a $1.9 million state award to a high-tech company that is planning to turn breakthrough nanotechnology pioneered at Florida State University into a better, faster, more economical fuel cell.
In a news conference today with Florida Governor Rick Scott, Florida State University President Eric Barron and local leaders, Bing Energy, Inc. (BEI) announced that the company has selected Florida as the new site of its world headquarters.
“I am proud to welcome Bing Energy and thank them for recognizing that Florida is the best state in the nation. As Governor I am continuing to make it the best place to do business. This is only the beginning,” said Gov. Scott. “Just as Bing Energy was convinced to bring jobs here, I am talking to companies across the nation. I am letting them know that our reduction in the business tax burden, commitment to job creation, and Florida’s world-class workforce mean we are open for business.”
Bing Energy, Inc., the award recipient, is moving its global headquarters to Tallahassee, Fla. to work in partnership with Dr. Jim P. Zheng, who has pioneered a fuel cell that incorporates a thin membrane composed of carbon nanotubes, reducing the need for expensive platinum components that, until now, have made fuel cells too expensive to be widely marketed. Dr. Zheng’s technology is based on pioneering research and development of buckypaper conducted at FSU's High-Performance Materials Institute. The institute's director, Dr. Ben Wang, is the assistant vice president for research at Florida State University.
“We all know the world’s existing energy use pattern is unsustainable,” said Dean Minardi, CFO of Bing Energy, Inc. “A commercially viable fuel cell will transform the way we drive, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. It will transform the way we deliver energy to neighborhoods, ensuring reliability and eliminating the risk of brownouts.”
Bing Energy, Inc.’s move to Florida is tied to a $1.9 million award the company received from the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. The award is a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund in support of job creation. The local Tallahassee and Leon County governments are also supporting Bing Energy Inc. by each providing a 10 percent match on the QTI Award. To draw down the full grant amount over the next nine years, Bing Energy Inc. is expected to create at least 244 jobs paying an average wage of $41,655.