FuelCell Energy announces megawatt-class plant order from Hartford Steam



FuelCell Energy, a leader in the design, manufacture, operation and service of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, announced the sale of a megawatt-class fuel cell power plant for installation at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford Steam Company, owned by Energenic of Mays Landing, New Jersey, purchased the fuel cell power plant and will sell the ultra-clean electricity and steam generated by the power plant to Hartford Hospital under a long term energy purchase agreement (EPA) that will result in savings to the Hospital. Excess heat not used by the hospital will be supplied to the district heating system in Hartford that is owned and operated by Hartford Steam and serves the Learning Corridor Corporation, a magnet school system. "The ability of the fuel cell power plant to produce both electricity and steam from the same unit of fuel supports the attractive economics of this installation," said Derek Rudd, President, Hartford Steam Company. "We are interested in diversifying our combined heat and power generation portfolio and the low emission profile of this on-site power plant supports our sustainability and green initiatives." Hartford Hospital, with 867 beds for patient care, is one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England. The EPA structure will allow the hospital to benefit from ultra-clean on-site power as well as recognize cost savings from the high efficiency of the fuel cell power plant. "Our power plants are easy to site due to their clean air profile, quiet operations, relatively modest space requirements, and continuous power production," said Ben Toby, Vice President Eastern Region and International Sales, FuelCell Energy, Inc. "Our fuel cell power plants are well suited for supporting district energy systems such as the Hartford Steam system as they are scalable to create multi-megawatt large co-generation systems." Over one year of power production, the fuel cell power plant is expected to prevent the emission of more than 57,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a pollutant that causes smog, as well as preventing the emission of more than 128,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide (SOx) and more than 3,000 pounds of particulate matter (PM) compared to conventional combustion-based power generation. The high efficiency of the fuel cell power generation process significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to combustion-based power generation and the combined heat and power (CHP) configuration further drives efficiency. The power plant is expected to prevent the emission of more than 6,700 tons of CO2 over the course of one year when compared to conventional combustion-based power generation, which is equivalent to removing more than 1,200 cars from the road. The 1.4 megawatt DFC1500® fuel cell power plant will be located immediately adjacent to the hospital, occupying only about 2,250 square feet, which is minimal for renewable power generation. By comparison, 1.4 MW of solar power requires approximately 200 times greater space than the fuel cell power plant. 1.4 megawatts of power production is adequate to power approximately 1,400 average Connecticut homes. The project owner, Hartford Steam, is eligible to receive renewable energy credit payments for each megawatt hour of power produced under the State of Connecticut LREC program due to the high efficiency and virtual lack of pollutants from the fuel cell power plant. Connecticut has created a number of long term programs and objectives to drive deployment of clean distributed generation, including the authorization of renewable energy credits for low-emissions technologies such as fuel cells. The two major electric utilities in the State administer the $300 million dollar, 15 year program, choosing eligible technologies based on submitted bid valuations for the RECs. The long-term nature of the multiyear REC program makes it attractive to owners and project investors as it provides them with certainty of economic returns. An overview of the LREC program published by the electric utility administrators in 2012 is available by clicking here. Direct FuelCells® (DFC®) electrochemically convert a fuel source into electricity and heat in a highly efficient process that emits virtually no pollutants due to the absence of combustion. DFC power plants are fuel flexible, capable of operating on natural gas, renewable biogas or directed biogas. The Hartford Hospital installation will operate on natural gas. Total efficiency of up to 90 percent can be achieved by a CHP-configured DFC power plant, depending on the application. High efficiency reduces fuel costs and carbon emissions and producing both electricity and heat from the same unit of fuel can reduce the use of combustion based boilers used for heating, further reducing costs and the emission of pollutants. The distributed generation attribute of fuel cells provides continuous power at the point of use, easing congestion of the transmission grid and enhancing power reliability. Customers include utilities that incrementally add power generation throughout their service network as well as municipal, industrial and government power users that value virtually emission-free on-site power generation. Hartford Steam FuelCell Energy