2.8 Megawatt Power Plant Converts Renewable Biogas Into Ultra-Clean Electricity
DANBURY, Conn., Oct. 16, 2012 -- FuelCell Energy, Inc.
ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today announced
the dedication and operation of a 2.8 megawatt DFC3000(R) stationary fuel
cell power plant installation at a municipal water treatment facility in
California that utilizes renewable biogas as a fuel source. FuelCell Energy,
Inc. previously announced the sale of the power plant to Anaergia, Inc., a
project developer and investor.
Anaergia is selling the electricity and heat to Inland Empire Utilities
Agency (IEUA) under a twenty year power purchase agreement. The power plant
is an integral and unique on-site fuel cell application to convert biogas, a
harmful greenhouse gas, into electricity and usable high quality heat in a
carbon-neutral fashion that emits virtually no pollutants.
A dedication event for the fuel cell power plant was held on October 12 at
the IEUA facility. IEUA is one of the largest wastewater treatment operators
in California and is a leader in adopting sustainability initiatives as it
transitions to grid-independence by the year 2020.
"This stationary fuel cell project that uses a renewable fuel source to
generate clean power is helping the State of California reach our aggressive
renewable portfolio standards," said Michael Peevey, President, California
Public Utilities Commission. "This project illustrates how public/private
partnerships are a great model for providing public benefits with private
"We have adopted the goal of becoming energy self-sufficient by the year
2020 in a manner that meets our aggressive sustainability goals and with
competitive economics," said Thomas Love, General Manager, Inland Empire
Utilities Agency. "This fuel cell project, combined with our existing solar
and wind installations, is helping us achieve these goals."
Reliable on-site power generation from fuel cells combined with the credit
profile of municipalities attracts private capital to fuel cell projects.
Anaergia partially funded the purchase of the fuel cell power plant located
at IEUA through the issuance of California Municipal Finance Authority
"Setting new standards for environmental leadership with cost effective
on-site power generation that is clean and renewable is a replicable model
for California and other regions," said Arun Sharma, President, Anaergia
Services. "Anaergia is pleased to be a part of Inland Empire Utilities
Authority's renewable energy portfolio and contribute to their goal of
energy self-sufficiency by 2020."
IEUA is prohibited from releasing the biogas generated by the wastewater
treatment process directly into the atmosphere as it is a harmful greenhouse
gas. Flaring the biogas emits pollutants and wastes a potential source of
revenue. Using the biogas as a fuel source to generate power converts a
waste disposal problem into a revenue stream.
Due to the renewable nature of biogas, the power generated by the fuel cell
"This 2.8 megawatt fuel cell power plant is the world's largest power plant
operating on renewable on-site biogas. Our fuel cell technology is uniquely
positioned to provide what other megawatt-class power generation products
can't, which is efficiently converting biogas into continuous power right
where the biogas is generated and in a manner that is virtually absent of
pollutants," said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer,
FuelCell Energy, Inc. "This project is a win for everyone involved,
particularly the citizens of California that benefit from privately financed
carbon-neutral power generation."
Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) plants can be located where biogas is generated
and directly use the biogas with only minimal cleaning of the gas. Biogas
contains humidity, sulfur and CO2. Prior to being used as a fuel source for
the Direct FuelCell, the humidity and sulfur must be removed, but the DFC
technology does not require the removal of the CO2. This is a cost advantage
as pipeline quality biogas, also termed 'directed biogas,' must have the CO2
removed prior to being injected in the gas pipeline, which is an
energy-intensive process and adds cost.
Fuel cells use an electrochemical process to efficiently generate
ultra-clean electricity and high quality heat suitable for generating steam.
The absence of combustion avoids the emission of almost any pollutants,
virtually eliminating nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide
(SOx) and particulate matter (PM-10). The fuel cell power plant replaces
internal-combustion engines so the clean power generation will help IEUA
meet the stringent emission regulations issued by the South Coast Air
Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the local air pollution control
Fuel cells are highly efficient and can achieve efficiencies up to 90
percent when byproduct heat is utilized. The byproduct heat from this power
plant will be used to help create the renewable biogas by heating the
anaerobic digesters that produce the biogas. High efficiency decreases
energy costs and provides more electrical output from the same amount of
biogas than less efficient alternatives.
IEUA is a municipal water district located in western San Bernardino County,
California with a mission to supply drinking water, collect and treat
wastewater, produce beneficially reusable compost and high quality recycled
water to the 850,000 residents living within its 242-square miles service
Anaergia, headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, is a global leader
in the generation of renewable energy from organic waste streams. Anaergia
offers a wide range of anaerobic treatment solutions to municipal,
industrial and agricultural markets with more than 20 years of experience
and 1,600 operational renewable energy from biogas projects globally.
About FuelCell Energy
Direct FuelCell(R) power plants are generating ultra-clean, efficient and
reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide. With approximately 180
megawatts of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, FuelCell
Energy is a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed
generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal
water treatment facilities, government installations and other customers
around the world. The Company's power plants have generated more than one
billion kilowatt hours of ultra-clean power using a variety of fuels
including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as
well as clean natural gas. For more information please visit our website at