The largest fuel cell project in North America is expected to be operational by late 2013. Dominion -- one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy -- announced on Friday that it will be working with FuelCell Energy to develop a 14.9 megawatt fuel cell power generating facility in Bridgeport, Conn. Here are the details.
* The Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell facility will be built by FuelCell Energy Inc., and will consist of five fuel cell systems and an organic rankine turbine that will use waste heat from the fuel cells to produce additional energy.
* According to Dominion, the project will support 161 jobs and the fuel cell system has a 15-year life span.
* Dominion plans to sell the output of the fuel cell power station -- enough to power approximately 15,000 homes -- to Connecticut Light & Power under a 15-year fixed power purchase agreement.
* According to FuelCell Energy, the fuel cell power park planned for city-owned property in Bridgeport will feature power plants using natural gas as the fuel source.
* Fuel parks solve a number of power generation challenges for utilities, the company stated, including lower pollutants, modest land-use needs and a quiet operating nature.
* Fuels cells provide continuous power and are not reliant on weather or time of day, the company explained.
* According to a company white paper, fuel cells have a 47 percent efficiency and can operate on a number of alternate fuels, including biofuels, ethanol and propane.
* FuelCell Energy has approximately 60 stationary power plant installations in five countries, the company stated, with systems installed in hospitals, hotels, wastewater treatment plants, prisons, food and beverage processing plants, manufacturing plants, universities, government institutions and utilities. This will be FuelCell Energy's largest installation to date.
* Construction is expected to begin immediately in Bridgeport.
* Dominion reported that the facility is a part of Project 150, a state sponsored program from the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority that aims to increase renewable and clean energy projects in Connecticut by 150 megawatts.