Bloom Energy Secures $100M in Financing; Demand Grows for Fuel Cell Microgrids

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Fuel cell manufacturer Bloom Energy has secured $100 million in project financing from Key Equipment Finance, as it sees demand grow for microgrids.

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Key will provide lease financing for fuel cell projects in the commercial and indusrial sector, totaling about 10-15 MW. Bloom Energy says it will now be able to offer shorter term deal structures for customers that find it difficult to sign long-term contracts.

Earlier Key provided Bloom with $300 million in project financing for 70 Bloom Energy fuel cell projects throughout the US. In all, KeyBank has financed more than 14.1 GW of renewable power in the US since 2010,  representing a $2 billion investment. An affiliate of KeyCorp., Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-held equipment finance companies.

“Our partnership with Key Equipment Finance gives commercial and industrial electricity consumers an important new way to meet financial, reliability and sustainability goals,” said Randy Furr, chief financial officer of Bloom Energy. “Electricity is the lifeblood of the economy, and clean, affordable, reliable electricity is good for business.”

The financing comes as the California company says it sees strong momentum for fuel cells as building blocks of microgrids.

In June, the company announced that its fuel cell technology will provide primary power for a microgrid being installed for JSR Micro, a precision manufacturing company in Silicon Valley.

The 1.1 MW microgrid is designed to provide 99.99 percent availability and allow JSR Micro to keep up its production of electronic materials for the semiconductor industry, even if the central grid fails. The microgrid is expected to be operating before year’s end.

Bloom Energy Servers also can be found in the Parkville microgrid in Hartford, Connecticut.

Other Bloom Energy customers include Equinix, AT&T, The Home Depot, The Wonderful Company, Caltech, Kaiser Permanente, and Delmarva Power.

Bloom Energy uses  solid oxide fuel cell technology to deliver clean, on-site and reliable electric power. The company says its servers generate electricity from natural gas or biogas without combustion, enabling them to produce 60 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than the power that they offset from the US grid.

Track news about about fuel cell microgrids. Follow Microgrid Knowledge on Twitter @MicrogridNews .

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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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