An agreement has been put in place to build Europe’s first commercial MW-scale fuel cell power plant.

FuelCell Energy Solutions (FCES), the European subsidiary of US-based FuelCell Energy, and Germany’s E.ON Connecting Energies will collaborate on the 1.4 MW plant at non-corroding materials manufacturer Friatec’s headquarters and production facility in Mannheim, Germany (pictured). E.ON will own the plant, and FCES will install, operate and maintain it under a long-term service agreement, the companies said in a statement.

The combined heat and power (CHP) plant is expected to meet around 60 per cent of the power needs for Friatec’s manufacturing operations, while its heat will be supplied to the existing on-site heating grid, to be used at multiple production areas within the facility.

‘Our production processes require a large amount of power and heat, so we are very happy to have the opportunity to utilize fuel cells to generate these necessities as efficiently and as cleanly as possible to advance our environmentally-friendly production processes,’ said Klaus Wolf, Friatec’s CEO.

The project is to be undertaken under a larger project development agreement between E.ON Connecting Energies and FuelCell Energy. The agreement targets CHP applications for large-scale industrial users that require continuous power under a utility ownership model, the companies said.