Ultra-clean power plant to run on milk-processing waste
Author: RP news wires
FuelCell Energy Inc., a leading manufacturer of efficient electric power plants for commercial and industrial customers, on October 25 announced it will supply an ultra-clean power plant that will run on a renewable supply of fuel from dairy-processing waste, generating electricity to run a municipal wastewater treatment plant serving California's San Joaquin Valley region.
The winning proposal for FuelCell Energy's Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plant, submitted by distribution partner Alliance Power Inc., was selected by the city of Tulare, Calif., over reciprocating engine and micro-turbines in a competitive award process.
Wastewater treatment facilities are an ideal application for DFC power plants based on their ability to operate on anaerobic digester gas, which is classified as a renewable fuel and eligible for government incentive funding at installations around the world. Additionally, because DFC power plants generate electricity without combustion, they dramatically reduce harmful emissions of gas and particulates while generating reliable power right where it is needed.
The 750 kilowatt (kW) power plant, consisting of three DFC units, will be installed in spring 2007 to provide around-the-clock electricity for the wastewater treatment plant. In addition, surplus heat generated from its operation will be used in generating the gas to be used as fuel, thereby substantially boosting the facility's overall energy efficiency.
Tulare, the surrounding county and the San Joaquin Valley will reap significant environmental benefits by using sewage gas as a fuel for the power plant. The facility handles significant amounts of industrial milk processing waste from large food processor plants. As an added benefit, FuelCell Energy's ultra-clean DFC power plant does not require Tulare to purchase $600,000 of Emission Reduction Credits, which would be required if the city had employed traditional on-site power equipment such as reciprocating engines.
"Our selection of the DFC power plant was based on it being less costly than alternative products, while helping us reduce harmful emissions," said Lew Nelson, Tulare's director of Public Works.
"Not only do DFC power plants provide 24/7 electricity for wastewater treatment, they enable citizens of Tulare to breathe easier by turning a waste product into a source of environmentally friendly energy," said William Karambelas, vice president for business development, Western Region, for FuelCell Energy. "We count California among our strongest markets, with one of our key applications being wastewater treatment."
The Tulare project will be eligible to receive $3,375,000 in incentives from California's Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) currently administered by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in the San Joaquin Valley. In addition to the Tulare project, FuelCell Energy currently has applications totaling $34,775,000 in incentives representing 8.95 megawatts (MW) of fuel cell projects approved for participation in the 2006 SGIP.
The Tulare installation is FuelCell Energy Inc.'s 12th wastewater treatment project worldwide.
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