ClearEdge says fuel cells should be part of New York plan

ClearEdge Power LLC, which manufactures fuel cell systems for distributed energy generation, told the New York State Public Service Commission that there needs to be more leeway for fuel cell systems in a state program.

The company’s March 13 comments were filed in a docket where the commission is working on ways to possibly replace the capacity from the Indian Point nuclear plant if it has to be shut due to ongoing license extension and permit issues.

“ClearEdge submits these brief comments to the Commission to protest specific components in the ‘Indian Point Energy Center Energy Efficiency, Demand Reduction, and Combined Heat and Power Implementation Plan’ (hereafter, the Plan) submitted by Consolidated Edison Company (Con Ed) in proceeding 12-E-0503,” the company wrote.

ClearEdge Power said it welcomes an emphasis on energy efficiency, demand response and combined heat and power (CHP) applications as preferred methods of meeting New York’s energy needs. Its comments solely address eligibility for the CHP incentives and marketing program proposed by Con Ed and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The plan calls for 125 MW of permanent load reductions by June 2016 with 25 MW to come from CHP. The plan proposes to encourage development of CHP adoption through adding funds to an existing CHP program run by NYSERDA. The plan also includes an aggressive sales and marketing campaign to educate consumers, identify candidates for CHP systems, and assist them with the process of contracting and installing CHP systems.

“Our concern is that fuel cells that provide CHP are ineligible for the proposed program, which will adversely impact the rate of adoption of low-emission, non-combustion technology and unfairly skew the market – via a government supported and run program – in favor of combustion CHP systems,” said ClearEdge Power.

The company believes that fuel cells that provide CHP also should be eligible for incentives to help Con Ed meet its goal of installing 25 MW of CHP by June 2016. “Perhaps even more importantly, fuel cell systems should be an integral part of the sales and marketing program proposed in the Plan to ensure customers are made aware of the non-combustion alternative of fuel cells offering CHP,” the company added.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.