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FuelCell Energy signs 2 long term service agreements for direct fuel cell power plants purchased by a California utility

FuelCell Energy, Inc. signed two multi-year service agreements with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to operate and maintain two 1.4 megawatt Direct FuelCell power plants previously purchased and located at two California universities.

FuelCell Energy was contracted to install the plants and will maintain the power plants under the service agreements. Both plants are installed and have generated power with full operation expected within the next few weeks.

Utility-owned fuel cell power plants provide distributed baseload generation which lessens reliance on the electrical transmission grid and represents incremental capacity that avoids or reduces investment in the electric transmission and distribution system.

Services are a key portion of our value proposition to our customers and a cornerstone of our business model. Service agreements allow our customers to focus on their business while we focus our expertise on maintaining the power plants.

—Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc

FuelCell Energy offers a portfolio of services for fuel cell power plants ranging from one to 20 years. Technicians and engineers remotely monitor and operate Direct FuelCell power plants globally, 24 x 7 x 365 from the Global Technical Assistance Center, located at the Company's Danbury, Connecticut headquarters.

FuelCell Energy’s power plants have generated more than 800 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as natural gas.

Comments

Reel$$

The Big Utility monopoly is headed for the scrapyard unless they start now to accept the introduction of distributed energy systems. It is going to be a difficult one for those who choose to cling to the past. Abundant, cheap, clean distributed energy is crossing the threshold right NOW.

Utilities with vision will climb aboard, license the technology and become the manufacturers, installers and maintenance supplier for millions of converted customers. Or they could just get steamrolled by the new energy industry while clinging to the "smart grid." Their choice.

Engineer-Poet

Unless you add "reliable" and "schedulable" to those other attributes, the utilities will still be there. They will always be in the position of buying low and selling high.

HarveyD

Our expanding 97% Hydro grid will be around for another 100++ years. The current 45,000+ mega-watts will grow to 60,000+ mega-watts and be coupled with as much as 40,000 mega-watts from wind-turbines with very high quality winds in the next 30 to 50 years.

Power availability is close to 100% and rates are very low. Net profits are around 32% and dividends (to Governments) are at about 16% + another 14% in Sales taxes. We could supply base loads demands for many North East States. No alternative energy sources can match it and all users are satisfied. Distributed energy sources are not for us for the foreseeable future.

Reel$$

Harvey and EP are siding with Utility monopolies. But ask yourself, when the first Frigidair was introduced in 1923 - why did the ice house industry begin to fold up??

Sure, there will be plenty of customers for old centralized grid energy. But being on-grid means acceptance of grid environmental impact (transmission towers, damming rivers and lakes, species impact, etc) These have been fair tradeoff in the past; but the benefit of self-contained energy appliances is greater.

Just the security/reliability issue alone is a strong argument for distributed energy to replace old, centralized power. One good tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, terrorist or human error can take down your whole grid sector. NERC reports there is a blackout every 4 months that puts half a million people in the dark.

In the old days you relied on the iceman to keep your food from perishing. If the iceman didn't come - your food would rot. Today, reliance on patchwork grid systems, vulnerable in myriad ways is a liability. Many will elect to stay on grid. Others will choose to make their own heat and power and avoid traditional utility bills. Both systems will be in play. Long term it's likely only one will remain.

Engineer-Poet

Unfortunately for Reel$$, truth currently has a pro-utility bias.

Reel$$

No. Status quo, business as usual is the pro-utility bias.

Engineer-Poet

Consumers expect power to be there when they flip the switch. If they can get this for $25/mo from the utility or $75/mo for the loan and maintenance fees for their own battery bank, I think most people are going to stick with the utility. BAU in this case means the utility does that job the best for the least money.

Not that I think cogenerators are bad; I've promoted them extensively. They just aren't a panacea.

Reel$$

i.e. EP votes for status quo, coal-fired, nuke, river damming, landscape scarring, insecure, old grid.

Engineer-Poet

Only nuke, in my case. Get it right.

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