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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

The Toro Company Partners with New York State Parks on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Project

The Toro Company today announced a partnership with the State of New York to provide the next generation of turf maintenance equipment powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The project supports New York's Executive Order 111 to adopt "Green and Clean" State buildings and vehicles. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is contributing $380,025 toward the project.

In response to the Executive Order, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) has an aggressive green parks initiative to support the advancement of hydrogen technology in New York. Selected as a partner, Toro will provide Niagara Falls State Park (NFSP) with three hydrogen-powered utility vehicles based on the Toro Workman chassis by mid-2007.

The NYSERDA-funded project included hydrogen fuel cell vehicles because they generate minimal emissions. Other benefits include:
  • Reduced noise pollution;
  • Increased machine efficiency over gasoline- or diesel-powered equipment;
  • Rapid refueling versus slow recharging of battery-operated equipment; and
  • Low emissions. (Fuel cells emit water vapor as a byproduct.)
A worldwide leader in turf maintenance equipment and irrigation solutions, Toro is committed to developing new technologies in alternative fuel sources that improve the way customers care for their outdoor environments. "Toro is very excited to partner with the State of New York on its initiative to adopt clean-energy technologies," said Dana Lonn, director of Toro's Center for Advanced Turf Technology. "This project is a logical extension of our strategy and ongoing innovation, and provides us with an opportunity to gain greater operational experience in hydrogen fuel cells."

Through its partnership with the State of New York, Toro will gain valuable field experience in real world customer applications including operation in various climate conditions and terrain. It's expected the utility vehicles will be used by NFSP and Beaver Island State Park and Golf Course to shuttle workers and grounds equipment, drag infields, haul turf materials, and assist with refuse and snow removal.

"Through our partnership with Toro, we will be able to put this exciting fuel cell technology to work," said Carol Ash, Acting Commissioner of NYSOPRHP. "The use of fuel cell vehicles at these facilities will enhance our operations relating to grounds, turf, and refuse and snow removal, as well as highlight our continuing commitment to supporting sustainable energy and Green Park initiatives throughout our system."

Peter R. Smith, president and CEO of NYSERDA added, "This project with Toro, in conjunction with the NYSOPRHP, is a wonderful example of a public/private partnership moving technology forward to help address our pressing energy and environmental problems. Additionally, NYSERDA is funding other hydrogen-related research demonstration and deployment projects that support hydrogen development in the Empire State."

NYSERDA is responsible for implementation of Executive Order 111 across all state agencies, as well as developing innovative solutions to energy and environmental challenges through research and development, and energy efficiency projects. To meet production and storage needs, fueling stations are being developed using clean energy from the New York Power Authority's Niagara hydropower project to produce the hydrogen needed to power the utility vehicles.

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