FUELCELL ENERGY GENERATING RENEWABLE HEAT AND POWER POWER GENERATION AND BIOGAS TREATMENT SOLUTION FOR WASTEWATER
December 22, 2017
FuelCell Energy has announced that their SureSource 1500™ fuel cell power plant operating on Anaerobic Digester Gas has received certification under the California Air Resources Board (CARB 2013) distributed generation emission standards. This certification acknowledges the clean air profile of SureSource solutions, which are cheaper, provide cleaner air and are more sustainable.
Municipal wastewater treatment applications for the SureSource solution enable the municipality to outsource the operation and maintenance of the fuel cell power plant as well as biogas treatment. These are provided by FuelCell Energy’s proprietary technology for biogas treatment and fuel quality monitoring. The versatile SureSource solution can utilize on-site renewable biogas or directed biogas as a fuel source and is the only fuel cell or other type of power generation technology to gain CARB certification to the 2013 Waste Gas standard using on-site biogas.
SureSource power plants are uniquely suited for operation utilizing on-site biogas since the system is able to use the low-Btu gas without a reduction in power plant output, and the power plants produce usable thermal energy which can support the digester eration. Power produced by the system can be used on site or sold to the electric utility under tariffs such as California’s BioMAT feed-in tariff. A modification of the technology is available in which the power plant produces vehicle-grade renewable hydrogen in addition to power and heat, supporting the developing infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles.
“We have gained extensive experience working with a number of municipal water treatment facilities, leading to our industry-leading expertise with fuel blending as well as our own state-of-the-art gas treatment and impurity monitoring processes,” said Frank Wolak of FuelCell Energy.
SureSource™ power plants solve energy, environmental and business-related power generation challenges by providing ultra-clean, efficient and reliable distributed power generation. The fuel cells combine a fuel such as renewable biogas, directed biogas or clean natural gas with oxygen from the ambient air to efficiently produce ultra-clean electricity and usable high quality heat via an electrochemical process. Virtually no pollutants are emitted due to the absence of combustion. PROVIDING HEAT AND POWER FOR NRG ENERGY FuelCell Energy has announced that the NRG Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will host a fuel cell power plant under a U.S. Department of Energy contract. The power plant will deliver energy to the NRG Yield facility, which provides heating and cooling for more than six million square feet of commercial and residential facilities in Pittsburgh. NRG Yield owns a diversified portfolio of contracted renewable and conventional generation and thermal infrastructure assets in the United States. These include fossil fuel, solar and wind power generation facilities that have the capacity to support more than two million American homes and businesses.
Cliff Bashford, the General Manager of the NRG Energy Center said: “This project supports NRG Yield’s focus on identifying and integrating energy solutions that seek to improve efficiency, lower fuel consumption and costs, and reduce our environmental footprint. We’re pleased to participate, and to support Mayor Peduto’s vision of a smarter, cleaner and more innovative energy future for Pittsburgh.”
Chip Bottone, CEO FuelCell Energy, added: “We are leveraging our commercial experience with this new solution, including industry leading electrical efficiency plus thermal capabilities packaged in a design that installs quickly. While this application will be a demonstration of the use of our solid oxide fuel cell platform for efficient power generation, it is also being used in other programs as the basis for our energy storage technology, whereby the cells alternate between electrolysis and fuel cell operation. The cells produce hydrogen during electrolysis mode, which is later used to make power in fuel cell mode.”
FuelCell Energy’s SOFC power generation technology generates electrical efficiency of approximately 60%, plus usable heat, for combined heat and power (CHP) applications, resulting in total estimated thermal efficiency between 80% and 85%. The fuel cell plant hosted at the NRG facility will operate solely on natural gas, although the technology is fuel flexible, with the ability to utilize coal syngas, natural gas, on-site renewable biogas or directed biogas. 20 MEGAWATT FUEL CELL FOR KOREA SOUTHERN POWER Fuel Cell Energy has announced a 20 megawatt fuel cell project with Korea Southern Power Company (KOSPO). The SureSource 3000™ power plants will cleanly produce electricity and thermal energy to support a district heating system. The facility is expected to be operational in 2018, illustrating the relatively rapid deployment of fuel cell parks. Ui Seob Shin of KOSPO said: “We are focused on providing reliable and clean energy to our customers and the clean and predictable power generation profile of fuel cells is consistent with meeting our objectives.”
Hanyang Industrial Development Company, a leading global construction company in Seoul, will provide the engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. FuelCell Energy is selling the 20 megawatts of fuel cell power plants and expects to operate and maintain the installation under a 20 year service agreement. Young Jin Park, Executive Director Infrastructure Division at Hanyang said: “Fuel Cell power plants have high power density, they do not use much land and we expect to install these fairly quickly, which is somewhat unique for megawatt-scale power generation.”
“This is the first fuel cell project for KOSPO and we are pleased that the value proposition of our SureSource solutions meets the exacting needs of one of Korea’s largest utilities,” said Chip Bottone. “Our multi-megawatt, scalable easy-to-site clean energy solutions are well suited for utility-scale applications such as this project.”
Fuel cells are addressing the energy, environmental and economic goals of Korea. High population density with limited land requires highly efficient and affordable power that can be located near where the power is used. The virtual lack of pollutants and low carbon footprint of fuel cells, combined with affordable economics and minimal space needs, have led to significant fuel cell adoption by Korean utilities and independent power producers. With high availability and capacity factors, fuel cell power plants make meaningful contributions to Renewable Portfolio Standard targets. RESILIENT ENERGY FOR STRATEGIC MILITARY INSTALLATION FuelCell Energy has finalized a power purchase agreement with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) for the long-term supply of power to the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. CMEEC is owned by six municipal utilities and will be acting through and working with Groton Utilities to implement the new power supply. FuelCell Energy will install and operate the fuel cell installation.
“This project asssures our customer, the U.S. Navy, of long-term cost effective power delivered on the Base to ensure power to critical infrastructure, and delivered cleanly,” said Drew Rankin, Chief Executive Officer, CMEEC. “The fuel cell plants will also be configured for grid-independent operation to ensure resilient power for critical Navy infrastructure.”
“Energy expenses are the single largest cost for Navy installations, reflecting about 28% of our shore budget,” said Capt. Paul Whitescarver, commanding officer of the submarine base. “These fuel cells serve as another milestone as the Base continues to pursue the future development of a micro-grid and enhance our power diversification, physical and energy security, and community collaboration.”
Two SureSource 4000TM power plants with total output of 7.4 megawatts will be located on the U.S. Submarine Base in Groton to supply an existing electrical substation. The fuel cell plant is part of a multifaceted plan by CMEEC to provide new power resources and support the desire of the Department of Defense to add resiliency and grid independence to key military installations. RENEWABLE TRANSPORT FUEL PROJECT WITH TOYOTA
FuelCell Energy is collaborating with Toyota to provide renewable hydrogen from biogas which Toyota will purchase for vehicle fuelling. The hydrogen will be generated on-site from a multi-megawatt SureSource™ fuel cell power plant located at the Port of Long Beach in California. FuelCell Energy will install and operate the fuel cell power plant that will generate and supply 100% renewable hydrogen for Toyota’s fuel cell electric vehicles and its heavy duty fuel cell Class 8 Proof of Concept Truck. The fuel cell plant will simultaneously generate renewable power to be supplied to the grid under the California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff (BioMAT) program. This fuel cell solution meets Toyota’s fuelling needs affordably and sustainably, while supporting the advancement of California’s hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and adhering to the state’s mandate for utilizing low-carbon and renewable sources.
Doug Murtha of Toyota said: “Fuelling our Proof of Concept Semi-Truck, as well as our Mirai fuel cell electric vehicles with 100% renewable hydrogen from this stationary fuel cell system is a major accomplishment, and a key step in building a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem to help power Port operations.”
“This is an innovative and replicable global model for building an affordable hydrogen infrastructure to generate renewable transportation fuel that facilitates the wider adoption of fuel cell electric cars, trucks and buses,” added Chip Bottone of FuelCell Energy. “We are pleased to provide Toyota with a flexible project structure that meets their needs both sustainably and economically.”
FuelCell Energy’s distributed hydrogen solution co-produces hydrogen and clean power from methane based fuels such as renewable biogas. The methane is reformed to hydrogen using water and heat produced by the fuel cell, resulting in clean hydrogen production without water consumption. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified a prospective pathway for hydrogen production with this technology fuelled by biogas. CARB’s team performed a complete Life Cycle Analysis on the system and determined that it has a negative carbon intensity, as the power and hydrogen generation process is carbon-neutral due to the use of renewable biogas and the fuel cell waste heat is used to feed the internal reformation reactions.
The multi-megawatt SureSource Hydrogen™ plant will be located at the Port of Long Beach, generating renewable hydrogen to fuel Toyota’s Mirai vehicles as they arrive at the Port.
It will also provide hydrogen for Toyota’s heavy-duty fuel cell Class 8 Proof of Concept Truck, which can be seen in operation at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYjS622zll8