Fuel cell park in Connecticut is on board for 2013

December 19, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(Phys.org)—North America's biggest fuel cell power plant is coming to Connecticut, and construction is to begin immediately. Dominion Resources, an energy company based in Virginia, and FuelCell Energy, a Connecticut manufacturer of fuel cell power plants, have announced the fuel cell project. The facility is to go into operation next year. Dominion Resources has agreed to buy the fuel cell site in the city of Bridgeport, with the first plant installation starting up in the summer of 2013. The remaining plants will be installed in stages. Dominion will oversee the development and owns the facility. FuelCell Energy is to build, operate, and maintain the installations. The power-generating project is to feed the local grid in Bridgeport.

The process involves connecting this fuel cell park to electrical substations in the city. The project is to make use of natural gas as the , transforming the natural gas into electricity. FuelCell Energy's technology uses a proprietary molten carbonate process to reform natural gas into a basic hydrocarbon, followed by an where hydrocarbon energy is converted into electricity. from the process will be used to drive a turbine on the site.

The deal is attracting attention in view of a big utility buying into the potential of fuel cell technology. Dominion Resources is one of the country's biggest energy companies and is backing the planned 14.9-megawatt site which will produce electricity for approximately 15,000 homes. Connecticut Light & Power Company will buy the electricity under a 15-year purchase agreement.

FuelCell Energy, in its announcement of the project, presented reasons why fuel cell parks bring clear advantages.

Multi-megawatt fuel cell parks solve power generation challenges for utilities in urban locations, with lower pollutants, modest land-use needs, and quiet operating nature of the . "Fuel cells generate ultra-clean power and heat electrochemically, without combustion. The power is termed ultra-clean reflecting the dramatically lower quantity of pollutants in the power generation process such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SOx) and particulate matter, pollutants that cause smog and public health issues."

They also said that generating power near the point of use lessens the need for electric utilities to invest in costly transmission and distribution grids.

Dominion owns renewable energy facilities in the United States, including wind farms in West Virginia and Indiana, a biomass power station in Virginia with three more under construction and hydroelectric power stations in Virginia and North Carolina. The company received permission from Virginia regulators to lease rooftops from commercial and industrial companies to build solar-powered generation as a pilot project. is now part of its portfolio as well.

Explore further: Apple plans nation's biggest private fuel cell energy project in NC

More information: dom.mediaroom.com/2012-12-14-D … ect-In-North-America

Related Stories

New fuel cell system generates power on campus

September 21, 2012

UC Santa Barbara is now host to a unique new energy system that is providing electricity as part of the university's commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. The new 200-kilowatt Bloom Energy Server is directly ...

EBay to power new data center with fuel cells

June 26, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Proving that it’s serious about becoming greener, EBay has announced that a new data center being built in Utah will run entirely on fuel cells, a move that other giants in the technology sector have been ...

Apple says data center will be all green

May 21, 2012

Apple says its $1 billion data center in Maiden, N.C., will include a second large solar farm to help power the site entirely by renewable energy by the end of this year.

Can a greenhouse grow energy savings, too?

June 15, 2011

A grocery store, greenhouse, hotel and community college will be among a diverse group of West Coast organizations testing the next generation of fuel cells that produce both electric power and heat while saving energy, thanks ...

Recommended for you

New method analyzes corn kernel characteristics

November 17, 2017

An ear of corn averages about 800 kernels. A traditional field method to estimate the number of kernels on the ear is to manually count the number of rows and multiply by the number of kernels in one length of the ear. With ...

Optically tunable microwave antennas for 5G applications

November 16, 2017

Multiband tunable antennas are a critical part of many communication and radar systems. New research by engineers at the University of Bristol has shown significant advances in antennas by using optically induced plasmas ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (3) Dec 19, 2012
And presumably, as they don't mention it, no CO2 produced at all. That's really ultra-clean!
2 / 5 (2) Dec 19, 2012
Interesting how all of the 'noise' has been about hydrogen fuel cells, but the first large-scale plants are powered by natural gas. Granted they use a reforming process to generate hydrogen for the power cells.

They claim electric power generation efficiency of 47%, which is better than most gas turbine systems; so their CO2 emissions would be lower per MW-Hr and way lower than coal. They also recycle a portion of the CO2 back to the input as carbonate.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 19, 2012
@tscati - CO2 is produced in the fuel reforming process, along with a myriad of other byproducts.

@dschlink - the reforming product is described as "a basic hydrocarbon", probably methane and not hydrogen.
1 / 5 (3) Dec 19, 2012
And presumably, as they don't mention it, no CO2 produced at all. That's really ultra-clean!

Not true. The system described above catalyzes natural gas, not hydrogen.

And CO2 isn't a poison anyway.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.