Why FuelCell Energy?

Distributed Generation

Distributed generation fuel cell power plants offer many advantages

Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants manufactured by FuelCell Energy are truly ideal distributed generation power sources, offering energy consumers and producers many advantages over centrally generated power.

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Distributed generation:

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Multi-megawatt DFC fuel cell power plant

  • Provides power at the point of use. In contrast, central generation involves generating power at a distant location and using an electrical transmission & distribution (T&D) infrastructure to deliver the power to the end user.
  • Enhances energy security by reducing or even eliminating dependence on the electric grid.
  • Improves power quality and reliability by avoiding surges inherent in T&D due to the extended distances power must be transmitted and to multiple power suppliers and users adding or removing power from the grid at different locations and times of the day.
  • Avoids line power losses inherent in the transmission of power through the electric grid. The transmission of power over long distances involves line power losses of 8 – 10 percent of centrally generated power.
    BioCycle: Micro-grid at a University
  • Supports Micro-grid applications with the fuel cell power plant configured to operate independently of the electric grid or as part of a larger system to balance intermittent renewable power generation.
  • Reduces congestion within the existing electric grid by enabling T&D capacity to be used by other generating sources such as distant wind or solar power generation.

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2.8 MW DFC3000 fuel cell power plant

Building T&D infrastructure can be costly, with estimates of $1 million per mile in the USA for the construction of above-ground transmission lines, and substantially higher costs for underground lines. Once built, T&D infrastructure incurs ongoing maintenance costs and poses formidable challenges to keeping the grid operating, particularly in regions susceptible to damaging storms. In addition, T&D permitting can be difficult or prohibitive, particularly in populated areas that prefer to avoid the siting of high tension power lines in their neighborhoods. Distributed generation avoids these costs and issues.