- 20-year power purchase agreement executed with Alameda County, California for 1.4 megawatt combined heat and power fuel cell plant
- Enhances power reliability for infrastructure from continuous on-site power generation
DANBURY, Conn.-- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL), a global leader in the design, manufacture, operation and service of ultra‐clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, announced the execution of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the County of Alameda to install a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell combined heat and power plant at Santa Rita Jail, in Dublin, California. The new fuel cell plant, to be commissioned in the second half of 2016, will replace a smaller FuelCell Energy power plant installed in 2006. The PPA facilitates the upgrade of Alameda County’s fuel cell to the latest generation power plant with no upfront capital investment required from the County and payment on a per kilowatt hour basis only for power produced at a price 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.”
“This critical infrastructure installation is an excellent application for our ultra-clean and affordable power generation solutions and illustrates how fuel cell plants complement intermittent power generation such as solar,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer at FuelCell Energy. “The Alameda County Sherriff’s Department needs reliable, cost-effective and clean energy and hot water to do their important work day in and day out, and we are proud to supply a critical part of their infrastructure.”
The fuel cell plant will meet approximately 60 percent of Santa Rita Jail’s total baseload power demand and 70 percent of the energy use, while the excess heat from the fuel cells will be used for generating hot water. Generating both power and heat from the same unit of fuel reduces emissions and fuel usage from combustion-based boilers, decreasing the County’s carbon footprint while simultaneously enhancing the sustainability profile of Santa Rita Jail. The initial DFC plant deployed by FuelCell Energy in 2006 was, at the time, the first megawatt class fuel cell cogeneration plant in California.
The fuel cell power plant will operate in parallel with the existing solar array and battery storage system, demonstrating the complimentary features of combining energy sources at the same location to reduce exposure to peak pricing.
The ultra-clean fuel cell power generation process avoids combustion and associated pollutants such as nitrogen oxide (NOₓ) that causes smog, sulfur dioxide (SOₓ) that contributes to acid rain and particulate matter that can aggravate asthma. The fuel cell power plant at Santa Rita Jail will avoid the emission of approximately 5,800 tons of CO₂/year, when compared to average United States grid, equivalent to the carbon absorbed by approximately 4,300 acres of US forest in one year.
Fuel cells electrochemically convert methane from natural gas or renewable biogas into electricity and heat in a highly efficient process that emits virtually no pollutants due to the absence of combustion. The Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) stationary fuel cell power plants manufactured by FuelCell Energy utilize carbonate fuel cell technology and provide continuous power located where the power is used, including both on-site applications and electric grid support.