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FuelCell Energy Applauds Connecticut Electric Grid Resiliency Enhancement Proposal using Fuel Cells


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 FuelCell Energy, Inc.  (FCEL), a global leader in the design, manufacture, operation and project development of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, applauds Connecticut House Bill 7036 that is a proposed act to enable electric utilities in Connecticut to acquire fuel cell power plants  for the purpose of enhancing the reliability of the electric distribution system, which then results in the utilities avoiding or being able to defer expensive distribution system upgrades.  The proposal includes provisions that seek to make efficient use of existing infrastructure and sites, such as urban brownfields.  Supportive comments from utilities and other stakeholders made during a public hearing held February 21, 2017, are available by clicking here.

Fuel cell power plants represent American innovation and American manufacturing and are well-suited for addressing energy resiliency needs of utilities while providing economic benefits to municipalities and State government, in addition to offering a reliable, predictable and cost effective resource.  With their compact footprint and high power density, fuel cell power plants are the ideal clean energy resource for siting in locations where resiliency and local power are needed.  Further, fuel cells generate predictable power while avoiding pollutants such as smog-producing NOX, acid-rain inducing SOX and particulates, making their installation in urban areas even more valuable.

“We appreciate this initiative by the State and the growing awareness of the multiple value drivers of fuel cells to a variety of stakeholders,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy.  “Our fuel cell projects provide affordable power, plus the in-state clean power generation strengthens and adds reliability to the grid while generating tax revenue and economic development at the local and State levels, all of which benefits local ratepayers and utilities. We have multiple projects under development which support Connecticut’s goals.”

“By locating fuel cells near where the power is used costly transmission and system upgrades are avoided or deferred,” said Frank Wolak, Vice President Business Development, FuelCell Energy.  “Additionally, fuel cell projects can convert urban brownfields back into property tax payers, generate sales taxes to States, and support the domestic economy with innovation created and manufactured in America.”

Additional benefits to ratepayers from the proposed bill include:

  • Low-cost approach for the State to achieve an optimum level of security, reliability and resiliency with the power grid.
  • Advances numerous State policy goals including clean and resilient power manufactured in-state that provides significant sales tax revenue to the State along with much-needed revenue to struggling municipalities through new local property tax payments.
  • Low execution risk as demonstrated by five utility-owned fuel cell installations operating in Connecticut, delivered within the Public Utilities Ratepayer Association budget and on-schedule, enhancing resiliency and contributing to the State Renewable Portfolio Standard. 

Multi-megawatt fuel cell parks offer a multitude of advantages for utilities and neighboring communities, including:

  • Environmentally friendly power generation with virtually zero nitrogen oxide (NOx) that causes smog, sulfur dioxide (SOx) that contributes to acid rain, or particulate matter (PM) that aggravates asthma, and the power is delivered with a low carbon footprint
  • Provides meaningful contributions to the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standards. The 15 megawatt  Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park is one of the largest producers of Renewable Energy Credits in the state of Connecticut.
  • Distributed power generation places power near where it is used, enhancing the resiliency of the grid
  • Highly efficient power generation process that is affordable to ratepayers
  • Provides significant municipal and state level tax benefits
  • Continuous renewable power around the clock that is not reliant on weather or time of day
  • Rapid construction with a 59 megawatt fuel cell park constructed in only 14 months

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