Fuel cell CHP planned for Finnish district energy smart microgrid

A Finnish district energy smart microgrid is set to add to its renewable credentials with two fuel cell cogeneration systems.

Fuel cell manufacturer Elcogen and fuel cell system developer Convion have agreed to develop and deliver the two combined heat and power (CHP) systems with a total output of 116 kWe, featuring Elcogen’s next generation of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks.

The systems will be integrated into the LEMENE smart grid district energy project serving the western municipality of Lempàƒ¤àƒ¤làƒ¤.

The LEMENE project, being developed by utility Lempàƒ¤àƒ¤làƒ¤n Energia, aims to showcaseà‚ low-carbonà‚ energyà‚ generation, energy storage and smart controls,à‚ combining toà‚ provide a self-sufficient district energy solution.à‚ It is to be powered by a 4 MW solar PV array, an 8 MW biogas engine and a storage battery and is planned to supply power and heat for around 50 businesses in the Marjamàƒ¤ki industrial district.

Lempàƒ¤àƒ¤làƒ¤n Energia CEO Toni Laakso said: “The LEMENE smart grid will feature a variety of smart technologies that will respond to changing electric demand, enabled by automation solutions adapted to the microgrid. An important part of the project is to secure energy availability as renewable energy production varies.

“In conjunction with the solar array and battery storage, the LEMENE system also required a highly-efficient combined heat and power system from Convion that would convert biogas to generate electricity and heat to supply nearby businesses.”

Convion CEO Erkko Fontell added that the project “shows how Convion fuel cells can be part of future smart grids, where different energy sources and a network of distributed solutions revolutionize how we produce electricity.”

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