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USA Supporting Fuel-Cell Development for South African Telecoms

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The USA's Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has announced funding for three¬ renewable energy projects in South Africa, one of which targets the telecoms market.

Plessey, a South African telecommunications solutions provider secured funding for a a pilot project on U.S. fuel cell technology applications for use by the telecom industry in South Africa.

The project will enable Oorja Protonics (Fremont, CA) to demonstrate the usage of methanol-powered fuel cells as the primary or secondary power supply at remote telecom tower sites that are currently powered by diesel fuel generators. The use of these cost-effective fuel cells, which are 40% more energy efficient than diesel generation, would significantly reduce carbon dioxide and other noxious emissions.

USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak also signed grants with Ample Solar for a project that will evaluate the use of Areva Solar's technology at two concentrated solar power plants, and with Basil Read Energy to assist their efforts to develop a run-of-river hydropower plant that would supply electricity for more than 75,000 households. 

Each of these projects is being funded under the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative, an innovative U.S. government effort to catalyze private sector investment for clean energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting early-stage project development.

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Tags: South Africa  USA