NORTH CANTON, OH — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) toured the LG Fuel Cell Prototype Center at Stark State College today and called for continued investment in Ohio’s emerging clean energy sector. Brown secured critical funds to advance fuel cell technology at Stark State – which is helping Ohio businesses create and retain jobs – and has authored legislation which would expand the critical research and development (R&D) tax credit and support nearly one million good-paying American jobs.
“These successful energy programs—like the Stark State Fuel Cell Prototyping Center—are critical to Ohio’s economic development and in aiding our nation’s energy independence,” Brown said. “Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies are on the cusp of revolutionizing the way we use energy in Ohio and it’s critical that we encourage our state’s manufacturers, private sector investors, suppliers, and potential customers to embrace this promising new technology.”
LG recently invested $45 million in Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems and consolidated its fuel cell research and development activities at the company's location—now called LG Fuel Cell Systems, Inc.—at Stark State College of Technology in North Canton.
In Oct. 2012, Brown wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu (DOE) urging DOE’s continuing the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell program. 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 to Ohio, providing students with first-hand training opportunities to advance and commercialize a one-megawatt solid-oxide fuel cell, which when used in stationary power generation, will aid in developing smart-grid electric power.
Brown is the author of the 21st Century Investment Act of 2012, which would boost incentives to invest in research and development of new products, especially for manufacturing firms, by enhancing both the current research tax credit and the deduction for domestic activities production income. The bill is aimed at promoting the growth and competitiveness of manufacturing firms with domestic operations by providing financial incentives to invest in domestic research, and to produce the innovative products that result from that research.
The R&D Tax Credit provides businesses and individuals with a tax credit equal to a portion of their expenditures on research and development—including labor costs. The qualified domestic production tax credit offers firms a credit against a portion of their domestic manufacturing expenses.
Specifically, the bill would:
• Permanently extend the R&D tax credit;
• Raise the rate of the regular credit from 20 percent to 25 percent for research performed within the United States;
• Increase the Alternative Simplified Credit formula from 14 percent to 20 percent; and
• Increase for ten years the domestic manufacturing tax credit from 9 to 15 percent.