Dominion plans major fuel cell project in Connecticut

As part of its increasing move into renewable energy, Dominion (NYSE: D) said Dec. 14 that is developing a fuel cell power facility in Connecticut that will be capable of producing almost 15 MW of electricity.

It’s the largest fuel cell project in North America, Dominion said in a news release.

Virginia-based Dominion acquired the Bridgeport, Conn., facility from  FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL) of Danbury, Conn. The 14.9-MW facility will generate enough power to serve about 15,000 homes through use of a reactive process that converts natural gas into electricity.

The Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell facility is part of Project 150, a program sponsored by the state and supported by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) to increase renewable and clean energy projects in Connecticut by 150 MW.

CEFIA is the nation’s first full-scale clean energy finance authority that leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. This project was supported by the City of Bridgeport, which provides a tax incentive development agreement that will be in place for the life of the project.

Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell LLC has contracted with FuelCell Energy Inc. to build, operate, and maintain the facility.  FCE will supply five proprietary Direct FuelCell stationary fuel cell systems and an organic rankine turbine that will use waste heat from the fuel cells to generate a total of almost 15 MW of electricity.

Dominion owns several renewable energy projects, including wind units 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.

In its regulated utility territory in Virginia, the company recently received permission from regulators to lease rooftops from commercial and industrial companies to build up to 30 MW of solar-powered generation as a pilot project. It also has said it would bid on federal lands off the coast of Virginia for a possible wind farm.

Dominion’s regulated utility is still hoping to develop a commercial wind project in Tazewell County, Va., which is located in the state’s coal mining region.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.