FuelCell Energy pursues non-approval for 5.6-MW project in Groton, Conn.

Groton Fuel Cell 1 LLC applied Jan. 25 to the Connecticut Siting Council for a non-approval of a 5.6-MW fuel cell project to be located at Pfizer Inc.’s Groton campus.

The company asked the council for a ruling that it doesn’t need a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for this project. Groton Fuel Cell 1 is a subsidiary of FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL).

FuelCell Energy had announced on Jan. 4 that it plans to install a 5.6-MW fuel cell power generation system for Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies, to provide reliable and low carbon electricity and steam for its 160-acre research and development facility in Groton, Conn.

Pfizer will purchase the power and steam under a 20-year power purchase agreement that will lead to a reduction in energy costs while enhancing power reliability from on-site power generation. The combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell system will be configured to operate continuously, in parallel with the grid during normal operation and independently supplying electricity to campus loads during grid outages, while supporting Pfizer’s commitment to sustainability with power generation that is low carbon and efficient. The fuel cell installation is expected to be fully operational by summer 2016. 

“This power purchase model delivers immediate value while increasing electrical reliability by providing the security of on-site power with a financial structure that avoids an investment in power generation assets, and FuelCell Energy installs, operates and maintains the fuel cell power plants,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy. “Affordably addressing both energy and sustainability goals is an attractive value proposition offered by FCE.”

The fuel cell system will include two DFC3000 fuel cell power plants, each rated at 2.8 MW, that will operate in tandem to generate 5.6 MW of clean power and steam. The fuel cells will operate parallel with the electric grid and, in the event of a grid disturbance, continue to provide power to Pfizer’s Groton facility by switching to what is termed an ‘island’ mode that is grid independent.

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.