9 September 2010 – FuelCell Energy (FCE) has announced the sale of two 300 kW DFC300 fuel cell power plants to the Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) in southern California, for installation at the Perris Valley Regional Water Reclamation Facility in Riverside County.
The units will be fuelled by renewable biogas and the power plants are expected to be operational by mid 2011.
The fuel cell power plants will utilize methane, produced at the plant in an anaerobic digester, as fuel for the electrochemical reaction within the fuel cell that generates electricity efficiently and cleanly.
Efficiency is enhanced by supplying the by-product heat from the fuel cell to the anaerobic digester, supplementing a gas-fired boiler. The efficiency of fuel cells can exceed 80% when by-product heat is utilized, says FCE.
The power plant will help the EMWD meet the stringent emission regulations issued by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), which is the air pollution control agency with local jurisdiction.
SCAQMD reports that its region, including Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, is the smoggiest region of the US.
‘We installed our first fuel cell power plant about two years ago and have been very pleased with the reliability of the system. We operate around the clock and value the energy security that an on-site fuel cell provides, which is about 40% of our total electrical demand at that plant,’ said Ron Sullivan, board president, EMWD.
‘This Perris Valley facility is a new wastewater treatment plant under construction that has been designed to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient.’
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