WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) $8,877,405 to purchase five zero-emission fuel cell buses. This purchase will give SARTA – which currently has two fuel cell buses through the FTA’s National Fuel Cell Bus Program – the largest fuel cell fleet in the country, outside of California. Using hydrogen fuel cell buses as their power source, rather than diesel, makes these buses more energy efficient, reducing dependency on foreign oil, and cutting down on emissions. In March 2014, Brown wrote a letter to FTA Administrator Peter Roghoff, urging him to give SARTA’s proposal full and fair consideration.

“Stark County is nationally recognized a leader in the field of fuel cell technology,” Brown said. “These federal resources will allow SARTA to deploy this innovative technology in the region, creating public transportation options that are better for the environment and that reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

In 2009, Brown helped secure $1 million for Stark State to upgrade the clean room at Stark State’s Fuel Cell Prototyping Center. That project brought critical fuel cell technology innovation to Ohio, providing students with first-hand training opportunities to advance and commercialize a one-megawatt solid-oxide fuel cell. In Oct. 2012, Brown wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary urging DOE’s continuation of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell program.

In January 2013, Brown toured the LG Fuel Cell Prototype Center at Stark State College and called for continued investment in Ohio’s emerging clean energy sector.