The California Public Utilities Commission last week authorized Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison to to install utility-owned fuel cells on several University of California and California State University campuses.
PG&E's Fuel Cell Project will consist of the installation and operation of three utility-owned fuel cell generating facilities with a total capacity of 3 MW at CSU East Bay and San Francisco State University. Two of the facilities will be located at SFSU, namely a 1.4 MW molten carbonate fuel cell and a 200 kW solid-oxide fuel cell. CSU East Bay will host a 1.4 MW molten carbonate fuel cell. The molten carbonate fuel cells will be designed to utilize the byproducts of the energy conversion process, including waste heat and water to meet other campus needs including thermal demand, for heating the Olympic-sized swimming pool at CSU East Bay, and using excess water for landscape irrigation. The plants have an estimated useful life of 10 years.
The projects will advance acceptance of fuel cell technologies in California, provide electricity to the grid, and provide fuel cell by-products to the host campuses. Additionally, these projects will be integrated into the curriculums of the host campuses, providing important educational benefits. The estimated project cost is $20.3 million, plus non-fuel operations and maintenance costs of approximately $9 million.
Edison's Fuel Cell will also consist of three fuel cell units with a combined capacity of up to 3 MW on three separate California state university campuses - two systems of 1 to 1.4 MW each located at CSU San Bernardino and CSU Long Beach and one 200 kW solid oxide fuel cell at UC Santa Barbara. The two larger systems will demonstrate combined heat and power applications and the smaller 200 kW system at UC Santa Barbara will demonstrate an electricity-only high efficiency fuel cell where the waste heat is used in the generation process. The fuel cells will interconnect and operate in parallel with Edison's distribution system. The connection will be on the customer side of the meter so Edison can verify the reliability of the fuel cell operation and examine load characteristics such as local power quality and voltage stability.
The estimated cost of the project is $19.1 million plus non-fuel operations and maintenance costs of approximately $9 million. As with the projects in PG&E's service territory, the host institutions will be leveraging these projects for educational purposes