FuelCell Energy, Inc. has installed a 900 kW fuel cell power system at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tulare, California.

Comprised of three Direct FuelCell (DFC300) stationary fuel cell power plants, the installation uses digester gas generated in the wastewater treatment process as a source fuel.

The DFC units allow the facility to reduce its dependence on the local utility grid while utilization of digester gas qualified the installation as renewable generation. The development was supported by US$4 million in financial incentives from California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and the project economics for the City of Tulare were further enhanced by avoiding $600,000 in Federal Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) required for alternative combustion technologies.

Joseph Heinzmann, Director of Business Development, Western Region for FuelCell Energy said that fuel cell technology had benefits in waste water applications saying that, ‘avoided emissions, significantly more renewable kWhs generated from the same amount of limited fuel, the ability to blend a variety of source fuels, and a competitive cost provides the justification and motivation for educated end users to choose our product.’