Clean and Quiet Power
Fuel cells emit water vapor rather than pollutants as they use chemistry to generate power from a fuel instead of burning. This virtual absence of pollutants combined with vibration-free and relatively quiet operation enables our fuel cell power plants to be sited near residences, within cities, and on university, hospital and commercial campuses.
Our SureSource power plants are certified under the California Air Resources Board’s distributed generation standards. In the State of California, this CARB 2007 certification allows the local Air Quality Management District to exempt fuel cell installations from the clean air permitting process, which accelerates project development. Outside of California, the CARB 2007 certification independently validates the clean air profile of SureSource plants.
Site within Cities
Land can be a scarce resource in certain regions and clean and quiet power generation with a modest footprint that generates power where the power is used is advantageous. One acre of land supports 10 megawatts of fuel cell plants, adequate to power approximately 10,000 average size USA homes. By comparison, similar annual power output from intermittent solar in the northeast USA would require approximately 395 acres of land, which starkly illustrates the advantage of being able to locate clean and quiet fuel cells on small parcels of land within cities.
For example, a 14.9 megawatt fuel cell park in the northeast USA occupies only 1.5 acres of land near a residential neighborhood and the world’s largest fuel cell park, a 59 megawatt facility in South Korea, occupies only about 5.1 acres of land.
Avoiding transmission is another advantage of fuel cells. Transmission permitting can be difficult and costly, particularly in populated areas that prefer to avoid the siting of high tension power lines in their neighborhoods.
Local Economic Generator
Fuel cell projects support local economies by paying taxes, enhancing local power reliability and supporting urban redevelopment. Fuel cell plants have been located on polluted properties, with the fuel cell project paying for remediation and returning the property to city tax rolls.
Fuel cell power plants provide numerous attributes to rate payers, utilities, municipalities and society overall. The National Fuel Cell Research Center quantifies these numerous attributes in their Build-Up of Distributed Fuel Cell Value: