The installation will meet approximately 60% of Santa Rita Jail’s total baseload power demand and 70% of its energy demand. Excess heat from the fuel cells will be used to generate hot water.
Operating in parallel with an existing solar array and battery storage system and due to be commissioned in the second half of 2016, the 1.4 MW unit will replace a smaller FuelCell Energy power plant installed in 2006. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement the deal sees no upfront capital investment required from the County and payment on a per kWh basis lower than the electric grid.
Caroline Judy, Acting Director of the General Services Agency for the County of Alameda, said: ‘Installing the fuel cell continues the Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ long standing commitment to environmental leadership through the adoption of clean, on-site power generation that delivers cost savings.’