DOE Awards IdaTech $1.4 million for Off-Road Fuel Cell System

by Armando Duke

Nov 20, 2004 Bend OR - IdaTech, a subsidiary of Boise, Idaho-based energy and technology holding company Idacorp, Inc. (NYSE: IDA), said the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the company $1.4 million to research and develop an off-road fuel cell system. The award marks the second time the DOE has granted IdaTech funding in the last 14 months.

According to a statement released Friday by the company, t he objective of this program is to identify and recommend innovative fuel cell designs to overcome arduous environmental conditions faced by such off- road vehicles as turf and grounds maintenance vehicles, and construction and farm equipment.

"This partnership is a testament to the excellent work being done at IdaTech and to the importance of developing alternate energy sources, especially those that are clean, efficient and renewable," said U.S. Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon, vice-chair of the U.S. House of Representative's bipartisan Renewable Energy Caucus. "Here you have government, private companies and education coming together to expand the good work already being done in fuel cell development, and central Oregon is at the heart of the project."

"I am looking forward to continued opportunities to help pioneering companies in the northwest lead the way in environmentally friendly energy technology," Walden continued. "Companies like IdaTech not only bring innovation to the energy industry, they bring much needed economic development to rural parts of Oregon."

Led by IdaTech, the program will include team members from Donaldson Company, a Minnesota-based global leader in filtration systems; the University of California - Davis, offering expertise in the application of fuel cell systems in vehicles; and The Toro Company, a leading manufacturer of utility vehicles, also based in Minnesota.

Claude Duss, IdaTech president, said the research program will focus on fuel cell technology operated under severe environmental conditions which is critical for a number of civil and military applications.

In October of 2003, IdaTech was awarded a $9.6 million development program by the US Department of Energy for the development of a 50-kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system suitable for providing grid-independent energy sources for large facilities. Duss made no comment on the status of that program's development.

Shares of Idacorp closed down Friday 24 cents at $32.00 after reaching a 52-week hi of $32.79 on Wednesday.