U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1,were in a celebratory mood Wednesday.
So were representatives of the state’s fuel cell industry.
The reason for the celebration was the inclusion of investment tax credits for the industry in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was passed last week.
Investment tax credits for fuel cells had been left out of the 2015 extension of the incentives, which gave an unfair advantage to the solar and wind power industries, according to Joel Rinebold, director of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. Larson visited the East Hartford-based nonprofit organization, the mission of which includes promoting new energy technologies and economic development.
“Thank you for leadership and your persistence,” Rinebold told Larson.
Larson told CCAT officials the importance of Connecticut’s fuel cell industry can not be over-stated. The industry employs about 3,000 people in the state and brings in about $600 million in technology investment and revenues to fuel cell companies based in the state.
“We don’t devote enough attention and we don’t invest enough as a government in fuel cells,” Larson said. “Products that are made here in Connecticut advance our economy and solutions to the world’s energy problems. This (industry) has vast potential and promoting efforts to get these tax credits has been a labor of love for me.”
Larson met with representatives of Danbury-based FuelCell Energy and Doosan Fuel Cell America, a subsidiary of a South Korean company that has a factory in South Windsor.