Dedication of fuel cell power plant in California.
The ceremony, which took place at the site of the 2 MW power plant, was attended by more than 200 representatives from the utility and financial sector, federal and local government, and the research and scientific community. Direct Fuel Cells are power generators that operate electrochemically, rather than by combustion methods.
Keynote speaker Robert S. Kripowicz, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy said, "This demonstration of the world's largest advanced fuel cell power plant represents a successful example of joint government/industry cooperation. The technology demonstrates an efficient and environmentally acceptable means of generating electricity from our vast fossil fuel resources while establishing U.S. leadership in this field." The Department of Energy has played a major role in the development of fuel cell technology.
"Because of fuel cells' promise as a clean, easily sitable power source, EPRI has supported development of this technology for more than two decades," said Dr. Richard E. Balzhiser, President and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute. "We are very pleased with this milestone in bringing fuel cell technology toward commercialization."
The Santa Clara Demonstration Project represents a unique collaborative effort between the public and private sector. The fuel cells were manufactured by the Fuel Cell Manufacturing Corporation, ERC's wholly-owned subsidiary under a contract from the Department of Energy. The remainder of the power plant and the actual testing is being supported by:
-- the City of Santa Clara, CA, the host and site for the
-- the Electric Power Research Institute,
-- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,
-- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
(represented by United Power Association, Elk River, MN),
-- Sacramento Municipal Utility District,
-- Southern California Edison Co.,
-- the City of Vernon, CA.,
-- the SCDP Consortium, which includes Salt River Project
and the Northern California Power Agency.
In his comments during today's proceedings, Paul H. Eichenberger, Chairman of the SCDP and Assistant Director of the City of Santa Clara Electric Utility said, "This project, which is the largest fuel cell power plant ever operated in the United States, represents a major milestone toward commercial introduction of this technology. I look forward to the day when megawatt-sized fuel cell power plants are commercially available to my utility and the industry at large."
Donald R. Glenn, president of Fuel Cell Engineering Corporation (FCE), ERC's other subsidiary said, "This is a great day for the fuel cell industry. We are proud that the most efficient means of generating electricity from a fossil fuel was developed and built in the United States. This clearly puts the U.S. ahead of the rest of the world in the commercialization of this important technology." The fuel cells were developed by Energy Research Corporation, Danbury, Connecticut. The power plant was designed and constructed under the direction of FCE, by Fluor Daniel, Inc., of Irvine, CA.
Other speakers at today's ceremony included Santa Clara Mayor Judy Nadler; Marvin Singer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Advanced Research and Special Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy; Robert Claussen, Chairman of the Fuel Cell Commercialization Group; Ron Green, President, Power Generation of Fluor Daniel Inc.; and Dr. Bernard S. Baker, President and CEO of ERC.
Periodic project updates will be made available through Energy Research Corporation's home page on the World Wide Web (www.ercc.com) and through a toll free telefax service at 800-713-4370.
Energy Research Corporation, located in Danbury and Torrington, Connecticut, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of electrochemical technology for electric power generation. ERC is developing its Direct Fuel Cells and batteries in cooperation with government, electric utility and major international industrial organizations.
CONTACT: Energy Research Corporation
3 Great Pasture Road
Danbury, CT 06813