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04/12/2010 10:27 AM     print story email story  

California Utilities to Install FuelCell Energy Projects at Four Universities News

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) announced that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has authorized Pacific Gas and Electric Company (NYSE: PCG) and Southern California Edison Company (NYSE: EIX) to install utility-owned fuel cells on several University of California and California State University campuses.

The CPUC approval includes the installation of four FCE 1.4-megawatts (MW) fuel cell power plants at four state universities. The fuel cell power plants are expected to be configured to generate base load electricity for the facilities in addition to recovering the surplus heat byproduct for heating needs. This configuration can achieve up to 80% efficiency. Additionally, because fuel cells produce power electro-chemically, without combustion, they produce near-zero harmful emissions.

PG&E's Fuel Cell Project will include the installation and operation of two FCE 1.4 MW facilities at California State University-East Bay and San Francisco State. Waste heat and water from the facilities will be used to heat a campus swimming pool provide landscape irrigation.

Southern California Edison's Fuel Cell Project will include two FCE 1.4 MW units located at CSU-San Bernardino and CSU-Long Beach. The fuel cells will interconnect and operate in parallel with Edison's distribution system and utilize the byproduct heat.

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) is currently working with the utilities to finalize contracts. "This ruling is another milestone for FuelCell Energy as we work with prospective customers and regulatory bodies in the State of California to encourage the use of our highly efficient and environmentally friendly fuel cells," said Jeff Cox, Director Business Development, FuelCell Energy, Inc.

In conjunction with the installation of the fuel cell power plants, the state universities are expected to incorporate fuel cell technology into their respective curriculums to teach students and the public about the benefits of fuel cell systems.


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