Groundbreaking Sept. 9 on Country's First Net Zero Solar to Hydrogen Fuel Cell House

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AIKEN, SC --- A team of experts who have assembled the technology to build America's first Net Zero Energy house to be powered by solar energy and a hydrogen fuel cell will break ground and begin construction of the energy independent house of the future at 3 p.m., Sept. 9, 2009 at The Ridge at Chukker Creek in Aiken, S.C.

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A team of experts who have assembled the technology to build America's first Net Zero Energy house to be powered by solar energy and a hydrogen fuel cell will break ground and begin construction of the energy independent house of the future at 3 p.m., Sept. 9, 2009 at The Ridge at Chukker Creek in Aiken, S.C.

Aiken County, S.C., is becoming known as Hydrogen County USA because of its remarkable combination of advanced hydrogen technologies and research. The County owns its own $10 million Center for Hydrogen Research (CHR), its own hydrogen vehicle fueling station and a demonstration hydrogen powered pickup truck. Also in Aiken County are the Savannah River Site and the Savannah River National Laboratory where advanced hydrogen research has been conducted for nearly 60 years. These entities work closely with, and some are full members of, the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

The latest advance in renewable energy solutions in Aiken County is inspired by developer Ron Monahan and architect George Watt, who with CHR lead scientist Scott Greenway, Ph.D., have developed the technology to build a house that will have no net energy bill over a year's time and will store its excess solar-created electricity in a hydrogen fuel cell for later use. Other partners in the project include the Economic Development Partnership, Aiken Electric Cooperative and Aiken Technical College.

The fuel cell is contained inside the house and an observer would not be able to tell the difference between this and any upscale suburban home - not until they look at the power bill.

The house is the first of many anticipated solar/hydrogen fuel cell houses at The Ridge. This house will be a demonstration project designed for thousands of people to explore. It is expected that many engineers, scientists, developers, builders, educators and prospective homeowners who would like to live in an energy independent home, will visit the house during the course of its inaugural year. The developer, architect and other out-of-town team members will stay in the house while they are in Aiken.

The project has extensive political support and many County Council, City Council and legislative representatives are expected to be on hand for the media event as well as leaders of the county school system, Aiken Technical College and USC Aiken.

Organizers plan to allude to the impact that this project could have on future generations with a fun twist on the usual hard hat and shovel groundbreaking ceremony.

Monahan, Watt and Scott as well as several political leaders, will be on hand for interviews beginning at 3 p.m., to be followed at 3:30 by a brief - and photogenic - groundbreaking ceremony.

Please see previous coverage of The Ridge at Chukker Creek at the News page of our Web site. http://theridgeaiken.com/news.php

Announcement compiled by Eakin-Hale Publicists. More information will be available after the event.

For Information, contact:
Ron Monahan, Developer (720) 352-4061 -
George Watt, Architect - (303) 443-4848, (720) 938-2336 -
Dr. Scott Greenway, lead scientist - (803) 381-1818 -

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Stephen Hale

Sarah Eakin
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