DANBURY, Conn. and BOURNE, Mass., May 19, 2003 — FuelCell Energy Inc. and its U.S. distribution partner, PPL EnergyPlus, a PPL Corp. subsidiary, announced that they have completed the installation of a clean, reliable Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant at one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations on the East Coast.
At a dedication ceremony recently at the air station, the companies completed the installation, commissioning and testing of a 250-kilowatt fuel cell system at the United States Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod in Bourne, Mass. The system provides electricity to the air station, including its hangars and administrative buildings, and supplies hot water for use in the air station’s barracks.
“The innovative leadership of the U.S. Coast Guard, PPL and FuelCell Energy will demonstrate that our DFC power plants can provide secure and reliable power,” said Herbert T. Nock, FuelCell Energy’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “This project further validates that our DFC fuel cell products are commercially ready today for clean and efficient distributed generation applications.”
The Coast Guard contracted with PPL for this on-site fuel cell system because it needed a power source its personnel can count on, particularly when fierce Atlantic storms knock out power on the traditional electricity grid.
“PPL is proud to supply Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod with an efficient, reliable on-site energy system,” said Paul Champagne, president of PPL EnergyPlus. “A reliable supply of electricity is essential to these skilled pilots as they undertake life-and-death rescue operations.
“Until recently, this type of energy technology was not available commercially, and its practical use was very limited,” Champagne said. “But fuel cells are now part of a growing range of environmentally friendly energy solutions that PPL is a pioneer in providing to our customers.”
Champagne said the unique new energy alliance on this project among PPL, the United States government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an example of PPL’s belief in reaching out to partners beyond its traditional
sphere to cultivate the next generation of power supply. Funding for this $1.7 million project came from a variety of federal, state and private sources that support new, emerging energy technologies.
“The Coast Guard strives to be a conscientious steward of our natural and fiscal resources and the environment,” said Captain Francis Dutch, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. “The fuel cell technology will allow us to continue in our stewardship role through its supply of ‘green’ energy.”
Part of the funding for this DFC power plant was provided by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund.
“We are thrilled that this is the site for the first commercial fuel cell installation in Massachusetts using funding from the state’s Renewable Energy Trust,” said Trust Director Rob Pratt. “This fuel cell ensures that critical systems will operate even under adverse conditions so that the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard can continue to protect public safety along our shores.”
KeySpan Energy Delivery, New England will provide the natural gas to fuel the DFC power plant.
“KeySpan is delighted to provide support for this cutting-edge technology which saves energy and protects the environment,” said Nick Stavropoulos, president of KeySpan Energy Delivery, New England. “Natural gas is an efficient and clean-burning fuel, which makes it an ideal power source for fuel cells. KeySpan is committed to exploring and supporting new energy technologies like fuel cells.”
Air Station Cape Cod is one of the largest U. S. Coast Guard air stations on the East Coast, flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in support of its search and rescue and maritime law enforcement operations and other missions. Its crews protect life and property from the Canadian border to Long Island, N.Y., and provide logistics support for offshore lighthouses in New England.
About Direct FuelCells
Direct FuelCells efficiently generate clean electricity at distributed locations near the customer, including hospitals, schools, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial facilities, as well as in grid support applications for utility customers. In essence, Direct FuelCells are like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as fuel, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the fuel is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.
Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and wastewater treatment gas, DFC power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure. This high-efficiency technology generates more electric power from less fuel and with less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional methods using combustion. Operating on biomass fuels, such as wastewater treatment digester gas, Direct FuelCells are a renewable technology.
About FuelCell Energy, Inc.
FuelCell Energy, Inc., based in Danbury, Connecticut, develops and manufactures highly efficient hydrogen fuel cells for clean electric power generation, currently offering DFC power plant products ranging in size from 250 kilowatts to 2 megawatts for applications up to 50 megawatts.
The company has developed commercial distribution alliances for its carbonate Direct FuelCell technology with MTU CFC Solutions Gmbh, a company of DaimlerChrysler AG, in Europe; Marubeni Corporation in Asia; and Caterpillar, PPL Energy Plus and Chevron Energy Solutions, in the U.S. FuelCell Energy is developing Direct FuelCell technology for stationary power plants with the U.S. Department of Energy through their Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. More information is available at www.fuelcellenergy.com.
About PPL Corporation
PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls or owns nearly 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.