Ballard Power Systems has signed a supply agreement with FirstEnergy Corp. for a 1 MW distributed power generation solution for use in a utility load management demonstration project.

The project is designed to test the unit’s application for providing peaking capacity and load management over a three-year period. Initial plans call for the trailer-mounted unit to be delivered in December 2009 and located in Ohio, USA.

The company’s heavy-duty proton exchange membrane (PEM) based FCvelocity products, will be used for this application.

‘We see the sale to FirstEnergy as an entry step into distributed power generation, in niche applications where Ballard can provide fuel cell solutions which leverage the unique advantages of PEM, such as scalability and responsive load following. We are also exploring other clean energy distributed power generation opportunities using waste hydrogen,’ said John Sheridan, Ballard’s president and CEO.

Gary R. Leidich, FirstEnergy executive vice president noted: ‘This demonstration project will provide valuable information about utility-scale fuel cell technologies and their potential to provide cost-effective solutions for peak demand and load management, as well as helping to meet our advanced and renewable energy goals in the states where we operate.’