FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced today its first 1-MW Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) power plant sale in California to Alameda County for the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, U.S. This is the first fuel cell project with its North American distribution partner, Chevron Energy Solutions.
FuelCell Energy will provide Alameda County a DFC1500 power plant and related operating and maintenance services. Chevron Energy Solutions will act as overall project manager and integrator, providing design, engineering, construction, and installation services to Alameda County. The DFC1500 power plant is expected to provide 90% of base load power requirements for the Santa Rita Jail.
"The addition of this 1-MW fuel cell power plant to the jail's existing 1.18 MW solar power system gives the county the most environmentally sound distributed power system in the country. We are excited to be able to combine the base load capabilities of this fuel cell plant with the daytime peaking characteristics of photovoltaics. This will be the first-of-its-kind facility to take advantage of these two clean emerging technologies," said Alameda County's Energy Program Manager Matt Muniz.
"This project demonstrates that our 'ultra-clean' DFC power plants can provide a cost-effective and environmentally sound energy solution for institutional customers," said Stephen R. Torres, FuelCell Energy's Western Region vice president. "Correctional facilities, with their stable base load power requirements, provide another key vertical market for our DFC products."
The market for combined heat and power applications for correctional facilities in the United States is estimated to be 2,700 MW, based on a January 2000 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by ONSITE SYSCOM Energy Corporation.
"We applaud Alameda County officials for their innovation in implementing a totally environmentally friendly approach to reducing their energy consumption and costs," said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. "We believe this can be a model to be followed by other municipalities and institutions in California."
The new Santa Rita Jail is recognized as one of the most technologically innovative jails in the world. The facility holds about 4000 inmates in 18 modern housing units. It is considered a "mega-jail" and ranks as the third largest facility in California and fifth largest in the nation. Santa Rita is accredited by the American Correctional Association, thus making it the only facility in California holding this prestigious award.
Alameda County is receiving up to US$1.4 million in project funding from the California Public Utilities Commission's Self Generation Incentive Program, as well as a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense's 2003 Climate Change Fuel Cell Program.