Wastewater treatment plant benefits from fuel cell technology

FuelCell Energy Inc., a global leader in the development and manufacture of fuel cells for Ultra-Clean electric power generation, announces the installation of a 900 kilowatt (kW) fuel cell power system at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tulare, California. The fuel cell system dramatically reduces the facility's harmful emissions, as well as their dependence on the local power grid...

DANBURY, CT, March 21, 2008 -- FuelCell Energy® Inc., a global leader in the development and manufacture of fuel cells for Ultra-Clean electric power generation, announces the installation of a 900 kilowatt (kW) fuel cell power system at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Tulare, California. The fuel cell system dramatically reduces the facility's harmful emissions, as well as their dependence on the local power grid.

Comprised of three FuelCell Energy Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) DFC300 stationary fuel cell power plants, the installation produces 900 kilowatts (kW) of high-grade, Ultra-Clean electricity utilizing digestor gas generated in the wastewater treatment process as a source fuel. In comparison to traditional combustion engine power plants, the DFC installation will produce significantly less emissions of nitrogen and sulphur oxides (NOx and SOx) while typically producing 30% more electricity from the same quantity of fuel. The DFC units also allow the facility to reduce its dependence on the local utility grid, thus freeing up grid-supplied electricity for use by other subscribers -- a major benefit in an energy-challenged area such as California.

Utilization of digestor gas as a source fuel qualified the installation as a renewable energy source under California law. As an onsite renewable energy source, the fuel cell system was made possible by $4 million in financial incentives from California's Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The project economics for the City of Tulare was further enhanced by avoiding $600,000 in Federal Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) required for the alternative combustion technologies. The fuel cell installation will comply with California's new South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1110.2 which dictates that new and existing power plants produce electricity as cleanly from digestor gas as they do from their primary source fuel.

"Our fuel cell technology won Tulare's public competitive bid against Ingersoll Rand, Jenbacher, and Duetz engines due to the fact that fuel cell power plants offer a substantially better value proposition for wastewater treatment applications," says Joseph Heinzmann, Director of Business Development, Western Region for FuelCell Energy. "Benefits such as avoided emissions, significantly more renewable kwhrs 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."

FuelCell Energy Inc. is a leader in the development and production of stationary fuel cells for commercial, industrial, municipal, and utility customers.

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