FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL) has announced the completion of an acquisition of fuel cell assets by its German subsidiary, FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH, as well as its completion of a joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS.
Under the terms of the joint venture, Fraunhofer is contributing intellectual property and capital to FuelCell Energy Solutions in return for 25% ownership.
Both the joint venture and the acquisition of assets – including fuel cell component inventory and fuel cell manufacturing equipment – had been previously announced.
Prof. Dr Alexander Michaelis, director of Fraunhofer IKTS, said integrated R&D through the joint venture would drive research to improve technology and cut costs.
‘We are also preparing and submitting grant proposals with FuelCell Energy Solutions to government agencies to promote the adoption of ultra-clean stationary fuel cell power generation,’ he said.
Chip Bottone, president and CEO for FuelCell Energy, described Fraunhofer as ‘the right partner’ to help the firm develop and grow the European market.
‘Our variable cost strategy, including production assets and inventory acquired at no cost, allows us to create the foundation for growth with subsequent investment predicated on order volume,’ he added.
Fuel cells generate power through an electrochemical reaction. The absence of combustion cuts pollutants, resulting in ultra-clean electricity and fuel cells can achieve up to 90% efficiency in combined heat and power (CHP) mode.
Founded in 1949, Fraunhofer describes itself as Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation with an annual research budget of €1.8bn ($2.3bn) and more than 18,000 staff, primarily scientists and engineers.
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