Fuel Cells Gaining Ground With Corporate and Municipal Customers

New report on business and municipalities using fuel cells highlights industry association members and the multiple benefits fuel cells offer, including reliability, efficiency and savings.

Businesses and municipal governments are increasingly adopting fuel cell power generation to improve power resiliency, reduce emissions, and increase efficiencies, according to The Business Case for Fuel Cells 2014: Powering the Bottom Line for Businesses and Communities, a new report from Breakthrough Technologies Institute (BTI).


Growing sales are helping to bring fuel cells to the forefront of the energy conversation, with new and repeat customers from Fortune 500 companies. Fuel cells are also helping customers to save money on labor and energy costs as well as conserving water and fuel, both precious commodities. The companies profiled in the report are collectively saving millions of dollars in electricity costs while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year.

The annual Business Case report, which includes recent sales and installations by members of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA), calls attention to fuel cell trends and deployments:

- The market for fuel cell-powered forklifts has tripled since the last report. Walmart alone has more than 2,700 Plug Power fuel cells powering forklifts at 11 North American distribution centers.

- U.S. energy companies are adding fuel cells to their power generation portfolios. In 2014, a 14.9-MW FuelCell Energy power plant – the largest fuel cell system in the U.S. – went online, delivering energy to utility customers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, while taking up just 1.5 acres of land.

- Corporate sales are growing as companies focus on resiliency, reliability and sustainability. One customer, AT&T, placed its 3rd order for fuel cells in 2014, bringing its total to 32.5 MW of Bloom Energy fuel cells powering facilities in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and
New York.

- Municipalities across the country are adding fuel cells to government facilities. Local governments are using fuel cells to keep government buildings open and public services
operating when the power goes down.

"This report demonstrates the significant progress of the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry in several emerging markets, and provides a strong case for the adoption of this efficient and resilient technology for 21st century power generation needs," said FCHEA President and Executive Director, Morry B. Markowitz. "As distributed generation continues to expand in U.S. markets, businesses are increasingly choosing fuel cells to help meet sustainability goals while ensuring reliable power."

FCHEA members represent the full global supply chain, including fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, utilities, end users and other stakeholders.

The free report can be downloaded at
http://www.fuelcells.org/pdfs/2014BusinessCaseforFuelCells.pdf.

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