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Blogs > Europe’s First Megawatt Industrial Fuel Cell Power Plant Officially in Operation – PennEnergy

Europe’s First Megawatt Industrial Fuel Cell Power Plant Officially in Operation – PennEnergy

Betsy Schaefer

September 19, 2016

Energy history in the making in Mannheim: The first European fuel cell of megawatt size is now operating there. Contrary to conventional power plants, this energy solution delivers heat and electricity virtually absent of pollutants, making it a milestone for the green energy of the future. The innovative plant, which was jointly installed by E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions at FRIATEC AG, was officially put into operation on Monday. Over the course of at least ten years, it will provide clean energy for the production processes of materials specialist FRIATEC.

With a capacity of 1.4 megawatts, this fuel cell power plant is the only one of its kind in Europe to date. In terms of technology and environmental protection, fuel cells represent a promising alternative to conventional combined heat and power plants. In comparison with other decentralized technologies such as gas turbines, they use fuel sources far more efficiently. In addition, they generate power in a non-combustion process which is virtually absent of pollutants. By using this fuel cell, FRIATEC will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 3,000 tons per year. This corresponds to the CO2 emissions of approximately 250,000 family cars per 100 kilometers.

Betsy Schaefer

Betsy Schaefer joined FuelCell Energy in June 2021 and is Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer. Previously, she led marketing for IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence product portfolio, helping commercialize Watson from a research project to a major platform with more than 40,000 customers globally. She built a progressive career in the IT industry, with extensive experience in corporate communications, speechwriting, brand management, thought leadership and marketing. Betsy holds a Master’s in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University.