Fuel Cell Update
Coming changes: In a report on fuel cells, the Tacoma, Wash., News Tribune , quotes Jack Robertson, a former deputy administrator for the Bonneville Power Administration: "This has got to change the utility business like Apple changed the computer business.when the price starts to plummet, all hell will break loose. It will be like the [advent of the] home computer.
Coming changes: In a report on fuel cells, the Tacoma, Wash., News Tribune , quotes Jack Robertson, a former deputy administrator for the Bonneville Power Administration: “This has got to change the utility business like Apple changed the computer business.when the price starts to plummet, all hell will break loose. It will be like the [advent of the] home computer.”
Portable plans: Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, British Columbia, plans to offer a portable electricity generator with Wichita, Kan.-based Coleman Company in 2001. The generator will run on fuel cells.
Bronx installation: A $900,000 200-kW fuel cell-co-funded with a $200,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant-was installed recently by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) at the North Central Bronx Hospital in New York City. The unit “demonstrates the suitability of this cutting-edge technology for institutions like hospitals that have zero tolerance for power glitches,” says C.D. Rappleyea, chairman and CEO of NYPA.
The water department: The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has ordered two additional fuel-cell power plants. The 250-kW units are to be delivered in this year’s fourth quarter and the first quarter of next year. A previously ordered 250-kW unit is to be installed by this year’s second quarter at DWP headquarters.
Metallic Power: This Carlsbad, Calif.-based developer of zero-emission, rapidly-refuelable zinc/air fuel cells has won a third round of venture capital funding. The $18 million was provided in part by affiliates of Chase, Cinergy, Minnesota Power, and others.
Utility investment: Northeast Utilities has taken a 5-percent equity stake, with a $10 million investment, in Acumentrics Corp., Westwood, Mass., a maker of solid oxide fuel cells.
PPL Corp., an electricity utility based in Allentown, Pa.., agreed to invest $10 million in FuelCell Energy, Danbury, Conn. The company says it is one of only six utilities in the U.S. to market fuel cell technology.
If its plans come to fruition the Tennessee Valley Authority will become the first U.S. utility to build a fuel cell facility to store and retrieve electricity. The Authority plans a $25 million plant in Mississippi, according to the Chattanooga Times/Free Press .
From Pure Power, Spring 2001