FuelCell Energy Signs Deal to Serve Connecticut Military Base

FuelCell Energy this week struck a deal with a group of Connecticut public power utilities to install a 7.4 MW fuel cell that will serve a U.S. submarine base in Groton.

FuelCell EnergyThe fuel cell installation is part of a larger plan by the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) to support US Department of Defense goals to add resiliency and grid independence to key military installations. The New London base also is being considered for a full microgrid.

Drew Rankin, CEO for CMEEC, said that the fuel cell installation will provide CMEEC and the U.S. Navy with a triple win “of long-term cost-effective power supply, ensuring power to critical infrastructure, and doing this in an environmentally friendly manner, all without directly investing CMEEC capital and instead purchasing power as it is produced.”

FuelCell Energy plans to install two of its SureSource 4000 fuel cells, which CEO Chip Bottone described as “clean, quiet and with very high power density, does not require much land, particularly for a Class I renewable power generation solution.”

Connecticut is among a handful of states that allow utilities to apply renewable energy credits created by fuel cells to meet their top tier renewable portfolio standard requirement, Class I. Solar and wind power are among other Class I resources. To produce as much power as the Groton fuel cell project, wind and solar energy would require large swaths of real estate to house generators.

In all, nine states have classified stationary fuel cells as Class I renewable power generation because of their high efficiency and low carbon dioxide emissions.

CMEEC is owned by six municipal utilities: Groton Utilities, Norwich Public Utilities, Jewett City Department of Public Utilities, Bozrah Light and Power, South Norwalk Electric and Water and Norwalk Third Taxing District.  CMEEC, which serves about 100,000 customers, will be working with Groton Utilities to implement the new power supply.

The letter of intent is subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement.

Interested in fuel cells? See “Fuel Cell Microgrids: The Path to Lower Cost, Higher Reliability, Cleaner Energy,” downloadable at no cost, courtesy of FuelCell Energy.

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Elisa Wood About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than two decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.

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