FuelCell Energy Inc., which designs, manufactures, operates, and services efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, is touting the performance achievements of the 14.9-MW Dominion fuel cell park in Bridgeport, CT, after one year of operation. The fuel cell park, owned by Dominion, consists of five Direct FuelCell power plants, manufactured and installed by FuelCell Energy, that supply Class I renewable power to the electric grid under a 15-year energy purchase agreement. Additionally, the heat from the five power plants is recovered and converted into additional electricity, increasing the efficiency of the installation. FuelCell Energy operates and maintains the plants under a long-term service agreement and continues to meet all contracted output requirements with availability of the fuel cell park in excess of 95%.
“We are very pleased with the performance of the Bridgeport fuel-cell park,” said John Smatlak, vice president of Power Generation Technical Services for Dominion. “In addition to consistently meeting power output requirements since its operation date, the installation continues to achieve availability that is comparable to the best performing units in our power-generation fleet, including our Millstone nuclear power station in Waterford, CT.”
“In Bridgeport, we’re investing in clean energy production, which is resulting in job creation and our children breathing cleaner air,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The Dominion fuel-cell park is the cornerstone of this effort. It produces enough clean energy to power up to 15,000 homes. It’s helping put Bridgeport on the map nationwide as a leader in fuel-cell energy production. And, most importantly, it’s making our city a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“FuelCell Energy delivered this turn-key multi-unit fuel cell park on-time in less than a year, and has since continued to meet all contracted commitments,” said Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer, FuelCell Energy Inc. “This installation is an ideal application of efficient and affordable distributed power generation that benefits multiple stakeholders.”
“This fuel cell park is generating world-wide interest from utilities and policy decision makers, hosting visitors from other U.S. states and countries including Japan, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Korea as well as senior officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy,” continued Mr. Bottone.
The project is located on a remediated brownfield site in an industrial area of Bridgeport, Connecticut, using only about 1.5 acres of land to provide 14.9 MW continuous renewable power. The City benefits with clean distributed power generation and is receiving tax revenue from what was previously a vacant lot. The community benefits with ultraclean power generation that is created locally, enhancing the resiliency of the electric grid. Connecticut benefits with tax revenue from a variety of sources, job creation in the state, and measurable progress towards the State’s renewable portfolio standard.
The world’s largest fuel cell park, consisting of fuel cells manufactured by FuelCell Energy, is located in Hwasung City, South Korea, and has been fully operational since January 2014. The facility consists of 21 FuelCell Energy DFC3000 power plants, rated at 2.8 MW each, requiring only about 5.1 acres of land for 59 MW of new and renewable power. The fuel cell park provides continuous baseload electricity to the South Korean electric grid and high quality heat for a district heating system. POSCO Energy commenced construction on this project in November 2012 and finished in only 14 months, illustrating the ability to rapidly construct multi-megawatt fuel cell installations that enhance grid resiliency.
Multi-megawatt fuel cell parks solve power generation challenges for utilities as the combination of near-zero pollutants, modest land-use needs, and the quiet operating nature of fuel cell power plants facilitates their siting in urban locations. Fuel cell parks offer advantages for utilities and neighboring communities:
- They are environmentally friendly power generation with virtually zero nitrogen oxide (NOx) that causes smog, sulfur dioxide (SOx) that contributes to acid rain, or particulate matter (PM10) that aggravates asthma.
- The power is delivered with a low carbon footprint.
- Distributed power generation places power near where it is used, enhancing the resiliency of the grid.
In addition, fuel-cell parks provide an efficient power generation process that is economical and provides continuous renewable power around the clock that is not reliant on weather or time of day.
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