FuelCell Energy Inc. is a leading manufacturer of high efficiency, ultra-clean power plants using renewable and other fuels for commercial, industrial, government and utility customers. The company reported today that its hybrid power plant attained an average electrical efficiency of 62.5 percent, equipment up-time of 93 percent and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of up to 45 percent.
The power plant, located in Toronto, generates ultra-clean electricity while harvesting energy normally lost during natural gas pipeline distribution operations. The power plant is a joint development effort between FuelCell Energy and the Canadian gas pipeline company, Enbridge. It produces 2.2 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 1,700 homes. Funding for the project included $2.3 million from Natural Resources Canada and $500,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Additional funding came from NYSEARCH, the research arm of the Northeast Gas Association.
In its first full year of operation, the Direct FuelCell-Energy Recovery Generation power plant achieved results underscoring its success over a range of scenarios. The two companies are advancing the necessary commitments for other power plants in Connecticut totaling 18 megawatts. Gas utilities in other US states are also evaluating the technology. International interest stems from the current project’s evaluation by the Asia Pacific Partnership, a clean energy cooperative involving Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States.
Both companies were incredibly pleased with the results from the power plant. Chuck Szmulo, Enbridge vice-president of Alternative and Emerging Technologies, spoke of the results “That tells that is a commercially robust technology.” The CEO and chairman of FuelCell Energy, R. Daniel Brdar, said, “Enbridge’s validation of the system is a significant milestone, especially since the market potential is worldwide. It gives gas utilities a way of improving pipeline efficiency, reducing emissions and delivering clean energy to the world’s power grid as a byproduct of their daily operations.”