FuelCell Energy, Inc announced Tuesday that it has received a $1.25m contract from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund for a 250 kW Direct FuelCell power plant for the state of Connecticut. The power plant is slated for delivery in 2002 for installation at the University of Connecticut.
Governor John G. Rowland first announced the purchase of this power plant by the State of Connecticut on April 17, 2001, at the dedication ceremony of FuelCell Energy’s new manufacturing facility in Torrington, Conn.
Arthur Diedrick, Chairman of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, explained the rationale for the project. “This investment will yield substantial returns to the state, not only in the form of reduced air pollution, but will also provide valuable information on fuel cell technology in Connecticut. We view Connecticut as the fuel cell capital of the world and we are committed to have the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund focus on fuel cell development in our state.”
Jerry Leitman, president and chief executive officer of FuelCell Energy commented, “The state of Connecticut is well-positioned to be the fuel cell capital of the world. We are delighted to see The Clean Energy Fund lead the way toward achieving that goal and this project is an important first step.”
Direct FuelCells is the registered trade name for the particular type of fuel cell produced by FuelCell Energy. Fuel cells are electrochemical power generators. As long as fuel, such as natural gas and air, is supplied, a fuel cell will continue to produce electricity and heat without combustion and the pollutants associated with burning fuel. Also, the high efficiency leads to more electric power from less fuel and with less carbon dioxide emissions.
FuelCell Energy’s products are called Direct FuelCells because unlike other fuel cell technologies, Direct FuelCells can use hydrocarbon fuels without the need to first create hydrogen in an external fuel processor. In order to get a useable amount of electric power, multiple fuel cells are “stacked” on top of each other, and are capable of producing hundreds of thousands of watts – enough power for use in a variety of settings.
The Connecticut General Assembly created the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund in 1998 as part of legislation restructuring electric utilities. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund began formal operations in January 2000. Connecticut Innovations, Inc., which manages the fund, is the state’s leading investor in high technology and manages funds and initiatives that promote the growth of knowledge-based businesses in the state. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s mission is to invest in enterprises and other initiatives that promote and develop sustainable markets for energy from renewables and fuel cells for the benefit of Connecticut ratepayers. The Fund will enable and significantly assist in achieving Renewable Portfolio Standards in Connecticut.
FuelCell Energy, Inc. based in Danbury, Connecticut, is a world-recognized leader for the development and commercialization of high efficiency fuel cells for electric power generation. The company has been developing DFC technology for stationary power plants with the US Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory. The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s advanced fuel cell research programme is focused on developing a new generation of high performance fuel cells that can generate clean electricity at power stations or in distributed locations near the customer, including hospitals, schools, data centres and other commercial and industrial applications.