Electric Utilities & IPP’s
Distributed generation DFC power plants provide utilities and IPPs with clean, efficient and reliable baseload power
Clean, efficient and reliable, fuel cell parks enable electric utilities and independent power producers (IPP) to add baseload distributed generation throughout their service area. Scalable Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants configured in multi-megawatt fuel cell parks can be added incrementally to support growing power needs throughout a service area in an economical fashion.
Distributed generation reinforces the reliability and security of the electric grid by dispersing power generation assets throughout a service area. Fuel cell power plants and fuel cell parks can be located at existing utility substations, avoiding the need to invest in costly and difficult to site transmission lines. Distributed generation also reduces congestion of the transmission lines because the fuel cell power plants are located close to where the power is used, allowing the existing transmission network to service other areas.
Compliance with Renewable Portfolio Standards
Ultra-clean and efficient fuel cell power plants support renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and sustainability initiatives that electric utilities may need or choose to comply with. The favorable emission profile of fuel cell power plants, including their low carbon profile, make the plants eligible for renewable energy credits (RECs) in regions that support REC programs.
Easy to site
The combination of near-zero pollutants, modest land-use needs, and quiet operating characteristics of DFC power plants facilitates their siting in urban locations. Four DFC3000 power plants that total 11.2 megawatts (MW) occupy only about one acre of land, which is a distinct advantage for providing environmentally friendly power in urban locations. By comparison, a concentrating solar power plant of similar capacity would occupy about 55 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Because DFC power plants produce high quality heat, they are ideal for efficient combined heat and power (CHP) applications. The heat produced by distributed generated fuel cell parks can be used for local heating and cooling purposes, further enhancing project economics for power producers and investors. An Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) bottoming configuration can be incorporated into the fuel cell park if there is no immediate use for the heat. A 14.9 MW fuel cell park in Bridgeport, Connecticut utilizes an ORC configuration to increase the electrical efficiency of the installation.
DFC power plants are scalable, providing a cost-effective approach to adding power generation incrementally as power demand grows within electric utility service areas.
Reliable baseload power
Fuel cells provide continuous high-quality baseload power as long as they are supplied with fuel, such as clean natural gas. Reliable baseload power from fuel cells helps to complement and stabilize electric grids that utilize intermittent sources of power such as solar and wind.