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--Florida science teachers get a look at the future--

ORLANDO, November 4, 2005 The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Progress Energy will be showcasing two new hydrogen-powered vehicles at the Florida Association of Science Teacher’s (FAST) annual conference. As part of a national hydrogen demonstration project, the DEP’s Central District is touring local area schools and conferences with two pollution-free hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

“DEP is proud to participate in this demonstration project, and excited to introduce this technology to Florida’s science teachers,” said Vivian Garfein, Director of DEP’s Central District. “Florida’s investment in pollution-free technology benefits our environment, quality of life and economy.”

The hydrogen demonstration project is part of an initiative unveiled in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Energy. Through the federal government’s Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project, Ford supplied Florida DEP and Progress Energy with five hydrogen-powered Ford Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for nearly 1,100 Florida educators to see this cutting edge technology,” said Victor Hatfield, FAST Conference Chairperson. “Hydrogen is one of the solutions to many of our energy supply problems, and needs to be explored more as an alternative to traditional energy sources.”

Burning petroleum-based fuels like gasoline is the primary cause of air pollution from the more than 20 million vehicles on Florida’s roads. Hydrogen can power cars by replacing gasoline in an internal combustion engine or as a source of power for a fuel cell. A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, which powers the car and emits only steam. Worldwide, energy companies, automakers and oil companies are investing more than $2 billion annually on research and development to advance hydrogen technology as a new, sustainable source of energy.

“Progress Energy is pleased to offer this opportunity to provide a framework for young people to see the potential of hydrogen and other forms of alternative energy,” said Progress Energy Florida President and CEO Bill Habermeyer. “This program will help educate the next generation about the exciting possibilities offered by these energy sources for our future.”

In 2003, Governor Bush launched “H2 Florida,” a statewide initiative to grow the hydrogen technology industry, spur investment and economic opportunity and safeguard the nation’s natural resources. H2 Florida partners the state with industry, local governments and academia to accelerate hydrogen innovation and stimulate a consumer market for the newest hi-tech approach to cleaner, sustainable sources of energy.

For more information on Florida’s hydrogen projects, visit www.FloridaEnergy.org

 Attention Educators

How do your students envision the future of the Hydrogen Highway?

We welcome essays and pictures from all ages – elementary school to graduate school. Our favorites will be posted.

 Our Mission:

• Excite the imagination of the American and world-wide public to envision a future in which the majority of our energy needs are provided by a clean, renewable resource.

• To encourage the support and development of hydrogen fuel cell technology and the infrastructure needed to create a hydrogen-based economy.

•To hasten consumer acceptance of these new technologies because they will result in a better future for us all.

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