Fuel cells are attracting interest from a wide range of market sectors. Fuel cell users are saving money on fuel and labor costs, lowering emissions, and yielding substantial energy savings through increased efficiency and reliability.
Fuel cells are not only adding up to savings for corporate customers – this reliable and efficient technology is opening up a wide range of municipal market sectors 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). U.S. electric utilities are also adding fuel cells to their power generation portfolios, and installing multi-megawatt scale (MW) facilities.
"Fuel cells are proving to be a sound investment in efficiency, reliability and sustainable energy production. Businesses and governments report that fuel cells also benefit the bottom line," said Robert Rose, BTI's Executive Director. "The business case for fuel cells gets stronger every year."
In addition to new fuel cell customers such as Yahoo!, DreamWorks, and SoftBank, earlier customers are coming back for more. Since our last report:
• Walmart, AT&T and Verizon have furthered their commitment to fuel cell technology, with more than 30 MW of stationary fuel cells collectively installed or on order at sites in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
• Walmart has ordered more than 2,000 fuel cells for material handling vehicles at seven sites, boosting its fleet to more than 2,500 fuel cell-powered forklifts at 10 sites in North America.
Other returning customers include retailers Kroger, Central Grocers, and Ace Hardware.
Electric utilities are now fuel cell customers, with several major companies – Delmarva Power, Dominion, NRG Energy, and WGL Holdings – using multi-MW fuel cell systems to deliver clean and reliable power to grid customers in Connecticut, Delaware and California. Exelon and NRG Energy are adding fuel cells to their portfolios to offer the technology as a distributed energy option to customers.
This 2014 edition of the report also highlights the many fuel cells installed by local and state governments (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Ohio and South Carolina) that are adding fuel cells to municipal or transit facilities to help meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, improve reliability, and save taxpayer dollars.
This report is the fifth in a series. In the 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Business Case reports, Fuel Cells 2000 profiled more than 100 companies incorporating fuel cells with other technologies in order to better achieve their sustainability goals and improve resiliency. Download the free 2014 report at http://www.fuelcells.org/pdfs/2014BusinessCaseforFuelCells.pdf.