FuelCell Energy earns Conn. innovation prize

FuelCell Energy Inc., a manufacturer of stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed generation, has received a gold Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Innovative Prize for increasing sales of its 'ultra-clean' Direct FuelCell power plants. The innovative feature of the company's DFC products is the ability to electrochemically produce electricity from readily available fuels such as natural gas, wastewater treatment gas and coal gases...

DANBURY, CT, Oct. 14, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- FuelCell Energy Inc., a manufacturer of stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed generation, has received a gold Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovative Prize for increasing sales of its 'ultra-clean' Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants.

The innovative feature of the company's DFC products is the ability to electrochemically produce electricity from readily available fuels such as natural gas, wastewater treatment gas and coal gases.

Since DFC power plants generate electricity without combustion, harmful emissions are virtually nonexistent. Emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulates are 1/100ths the amount compared with traditional power generating technology. FuelCell Energy's DFC power plants can use approximately 50% less fuel per kilowatt hour than traditional combustion-based technologies such as reciprocating engines.

So far in 2004, the favorable attributes of FuelCell Energy's innovative technology has resulted in 6.5 megawatts of new orders, which is equivalent to 26 250-kilowatt DFC300A power plants, for commercial and industrial customers in Europe, Japan and the United States. Through mid-September 2004, over 48 million-kilowatt hours of electricity has been generated from 35 power plant installations incorporating its DFC technology at customer sites throughout the world.

"We are pleased and proud to receive this prestigious award and we thank the Connecticut Quality Improvement Partnership for this recognition," said Jerry D. Leitman, chairman and CEO of FuelCell Energy. "This is the result of the dedicated efforts of all of our talented employees, demonstrating a strong commitment to the innovation of providing power without combustion to commercial and industrial customers throughout the world."

This year the CQIA Partnership, the state's leader for creating and recognizing performance excellence in Connecticut organizations, received 111 innovation prize applications from 67 Connecticut organizations including manufacturers, service companies, schools, universities, hospitals, and not-for-profit organizations as well as local and state government.

"CQIA Innovation Prize award winners embody the critical intellect that is the foundation of Connecticut's long-term growth," said Sheila Carmine, founder and executive director of the 17-year old CQIA Partnership. "By applying this Connecticut Intellect, each of the prize winners is focused on helping humanity and improving our lives with novel and superior products and services. They are creating better health services, improving resource use, widening communications, enhancing education, and increasing safety for us all."

Carmine continued, "The ingenuity of these award winners attracts more talented people to Connecticut, multiplying the business possibilities, and further strengthening the reputation of the Connecticut Intellect."

All 111 CIP applications were judged by 15 Baldrige trained CQIA examiners who read, ranked and met for consensus before determining the platinum, gold and silver winning levels.

The entry level CQIA Innovation Prize is broadly based on the Malcolm Baldrige National quality Award for Performance Excellence's three principles of Approach, Deployment and Results, which are translated into CIP's criteria of opportunity, innovation, and numerical results. The CQIA Partnership's higher-level awards are the mid-level Connecticut Breakthrough Quality Award which uses just 27 questions from the Baldrige Criteria and the highest level Connecticut Leadership Award which uses the entire current Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence.

At the CQIA Partnership (www.ctqualityaward.org) 17th Annual Conference on Quality and Innovation on Oct. 13 at Waters Edge Resort in Westbrook, Conn., the Partnership highlighted methods that Connecticut organizations can use to drive creativity and growth, with an emphasis on continuing quality improvement. Speakers at the conference included executives from both the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence Small Business recipient and from CQIA winning organizations.

About Direct FuelCells
Direct FuelCells efficiently generate clean electricity at distributed customer locations, including hospitals, schools, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial facilities, as well as in grid-support applications for utility customers. Direct FuelCells operate similar to large, continuously operating batteries except they utilize a fuel to generate electricity, such as natural gas or digester gas from wastewater treatment facilities. DFC power plants are hydrogen generators, and because of this are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure. This high-efficiency technology generates more electric power from less fuel and with less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional combustion methods. The sub-megawatt fuel cell power plant is a collaborative effort using Direct FuelCell® technology of FuelCell Energy and the HotModule® balance of plant design of MTU CFC Solutions, GmbH, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler.

About FuelCell Energy
FuelCell Energy Inc., based in Danbury, Conn., is a world leader in the development and manufacture of high temperature hydrogen fuel cells for clean electric power generation. The Company has developed commercial distribution alliances for its carbonate Direct FuelCell products with MTU CFC Solutions in Europe; Marubeni Corporation in Asia; Enbridge Inc. in Canada; Caterpillar, PPL Energy Plus, Chevron Energy Solutions, Alliance Power and LOGANEnergy in the U.S. FuelCell Energy developed its patented Direct FuelCell technology for stationary power plants with the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

FuelCell Energy (www.fuelcellenergy.com) is also developing next generation high temperature fuel cell products, such as a diesel fueled marine Ship Service Fuel Cell, a combined-cycle DFC/Turbine® power plant and solid oxide fuel cells for applications up to 100 kilowatts.

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