Grid-Connected Fuel Cell Project Announced

Issue 4 and Volume 107.

One of the nation’s first advanced utility-scale fuel cell power plants designed to feed power from a substation into a local electric distribution system is expected to be installed before the year is out in Westerville, Ohio. The project is the first of what is expected to several fuel cell-projects by the state of Ohio, which is investing more than $100 million in a three-year initiative to expand fuel cell research and development, including increased fuel cell generating capacity.

A 250 kW Direct FuelCell power plant from Caterpillar, Inc. and FuelCell Energy, Inc., will feed power from a substation into the Westerville, Ohio, electric distribution system. Photo courtesy of FuelCell Energy.

A 250 kW plant manufactured by FuelCell Energy and distributed by Caterpillar will be purchased by American Municipal Power-Ohio, which is managing the fuel cell generation project on behalf of the city.

The project is a result of the April 2002 alliance agreement between Caterpillar and FuelCell Energy to distribute and develop ultra-low emission fuel cell power generation products for industrial and commercial use. The agreement calls for the companies to jointly develop Caterpillar-branded power plants in the 250 kW to 3MW size range, incorporating FuelCell Energy’s fuel cell module.