LIPA to install 45 more fuel cells across Long Island
WEST BABYLON, N.Y., Feb. 27, 2003 -- As part of its ongoing effort to diversify its energy supply and advance the implementation of clean, distributed generation on Long Island, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announced, at a McDonald's restaurant partially powered by a Plug Power Inc. fuel cell, that it will purchase an additional 45 fuel cell systems for installation across Long Island this year, for the first time installing them in Long Island homes.
Twenty-five of the 5-kW fuel cell systems -- called GenSys™5CS -- will be installed at LIPA's West Babylon Fuel Cell Demonstration Site, which currently contains fuel cell systems feeding directly into the Long Island electrical grid. The remaining 20 systems will generate on-site heat and power for single or multi-family residential sites, for the first time in LIPA's service territory.
"Fuel cells play a key part in our technology mix for providing Long Island customers with clean and efficient energy," said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. "This application at McDonald's demonstrates how far we've all come to better understand the integration of fuel cells into the electric grid at a customer site. We plan to continue working with Plug Power and our customers to evaluate and measure the potential of fuel cells for heat and power generation and back-up supply, which will also help us achieve Governor Pataki's goal of 25 percent of our State's electricity needs supplied by alternative energy technologies within 10 years."
The McDonald's fuel cell was installed by LIPA as part of its alternative energy technologies research and development program, which is part of its Clean Energy Initiative (CEI). In addition to its grid-connection program for fuel cells at its West Babylon substation, LIPA has also been placing Plug Power fuel cells at various commercial locations around Long Island, including Hofstra University, and Babylon and East Hampton Town Halls.
Kessel said that he was particularly pleased to announce that LIPA would begin to install fuel cells in Long Island homes, call it "the dawning of a new era on Long Island." He said that he hoped that thousands of Long Island homes and businesses eventually have fuel cells to relieve LIPA of some of the resources needed to build additional on-island power plants.
"I am proud that my McDonald's restaurant will be one of the first Long Island businesses to utilize this new fuel cell system," said Peter Hunt, McDonald's Owner/Operator. "Working with the Long Island Power Authority is a great opportunity for us to conserve energy and reduce emissions, as well as contribute to keeping Long Island environmentally friendly."
"As LIPA continues its commitment to exploring Plug Power's fuel cells, Plug Power will continue to deliver a product that increasingly meets the needs of our customer," said Plug Power President and Chief Executive Officer Roger Saillant. "We remain customer and market driven, with a focus on rapid implementation of the most current technology available. The unit installed at McDonald's reflects this focus."
The GenSys™5CS unit transforms natural gas to hydrogen, will be monitored remotely, and contains stand-by capacity -- the ability to provide electricity to critical loads during periods of grid outage. Last year Plug Power delivered 121 systems, generating approximately 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the field, a large portion of it on Long Island. Funding for the project is being provided under LIPA's Clean Energy Initiative (CEI). The CEI is a five-year, $170 million program, originally proposed by Governor Pataki, designed, in part, to foster the development and application of clean energy technologies including fuel cells. More information on LIPA's CEI can be found on its Web site at http://www.lipower.org .
LIPA owns the retail electric system on Long Island, and provides electric service to nearly 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens.
McDonald's is the world's best-known brand and is the global leader in food service. There are more than 640 McDonald's restaurants, owned by 200 franchisees, located throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Tri-State Area.
Plug Power Inc. designs, develops and manufactures on-site electric power generation systems utilizing Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells for stationary applications (http://www.plugpower.com). Plug Power's fuel cell systems are expected to be sold globally through a joint venture with General Electric and through DTE Energy Technologies in a four-state territory, which includes Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. The company's headquarters are located in Latham, N.Y., with offices in Washington, D.C., and The Netherlands.