Oct. 31, 2002 — FuelCell Energy Inc. partner PPL Corp. will install electricity-supplying fuel cells at Zoot Enterprises’ Galactic Park high-technology campus located eight miles west of Bozeman, Montana.
In a contract signing event today at Zoot’s campus, PPL’s distributed generation and energy services subsidiary said it will furnish and install two 250-kilowatt fuel cells. FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Conn., will manufacture the fuel cells, which use natural gas for fuel and produce electric power and hot water for heating and domestic uses.
Site preparation has already begun, and installation of the fuel cell power plants is scheduled to begin in early 2003.
“PPL’s innovative distributed generation program brings new, efficient and environmentally friendly energy technology to customers,” said Michael Kroboth, president of PPL Energy Services.
“Until recently, this type of energy technology was not available commercially, and its practical use was very limited,” Kroboth said. “But fuel cells are now part of a growing range of green energy solutions that PPL can provide.”
The total value of the Zoot fuel cell project is $3.8 million, with $1.4 million provided in the form of a grant from the United States Department of Energy. U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns were very active throughout the project and secured federal funding.
The Galactic Park campus, which ultimately is expected to include 14 commercial lots, is the site of Zoot’s recently completed 155,000-square-foot headquarters building. The headquarters building will house 410 employees at full capacity, including an electronic data processing center that performs the company’s core business functions.
Zoot plans to use the fuel cell power plant system in conjunction with traditional diesel fuel generators and the electric grid to meet the electrical reliability requirements of its building and to support future development at the campus.
“We are truly excited about partnering with PPL. This project will prove the feasibility of fuel cells where energy reliability is a must,” said Zoot CEO and founder Chris Nelson. “The system will supply quality power for our computer facilities and protect the environment.”
“The continued growth of the information technology infrastructure in this country and throughout the world represents an ideal application for Direct FuelCell power plants,” said Jerry D. Leitman, chairman and CEO of FuelCell Energy. “Data centers and server farms have constant load profiles and require a highly reliable and high quality source of electric power, and we believe our products can successfully meet these needs. We look forward to working with PPL to provide Zoot with a clean, efficient and highly reliable energy solution.”
PPL has an equity investment in FuelCell Energy and is a distributor of its fuel cells in North America.
Fuel cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as a source of hydrogen, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the natural gas is not burned, pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels is dramatically reduced.
Zoot Enterprises was founded in 1990 to meet the needs of the financial industry for credit verification and banking software. Zoot’s AS P environment now brings its inventive and innovative approach to loan origination systems. The company has partnered with industry leaders to offer an integrated best-of-breed solution. Zoot currently processes credit information for seven of the top 10 credit grantors in the United States.
FuelCell Energy Inc. (www.fuelcellenergy.com), of Danbury, Conn., is a world-recognized leader for the development and commercialization of high-efficiency fuel cells for electric power generation. The company is developing Direct FuelCell® technology for stationary power plants with the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, whose advanced fuel cell research program 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, universities and other commercial and industrial applications.
PPL Montana, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, has offices in Billings, Butte and Helena. With more than 500 employees, PPL Montana operates the coal-fired Colstrip and Corette power plants and 11 hydroelectric facilities along the Missouri, Flathead, Clark Fork and Madison rivers and Rosebud Creek. PPL EnergyPlus, another PPL subsidiary, operates a trading floor in Butte that markets and sells power in the wholesale energy market.
PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls or owns nearly 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.