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Ameresco to deploy FuelCell Energy tech in SacSewer CHP

Ameresco to deploy FuelCell Energy tech in SacSewer CHP
FuelCell Energy’s DFC3000 system is the largest and capable of providing up to 2.8 MW power. It can be combined for higher outputs, this is a five-unit 15 MW fuel cell park located in Bridgeport, Connecticut (photo courtesy FuelCell Energy).

US-headed fuel cell technology developer and supplier FuelCell Energy Inc. has announced that its carbonate fuel cell technology will be used in a combined heat and power (CHP) project developed by Ameresco Inc., for Sacramento Area Sewer District (SacSewer) in California to convert on-site biogas into clean electricity.

One of FuelCell Energy’s 2.8 MW carbonate fuel cell platforms, which produces power and useful heat from biogas and has the potential for future production of renewable green hydrogen, will be deployed on the project.

The company also said that it has entered an agreement to provide comprehensive maintenance services for the fuel cell system ensuring that SacSewer can focus on protecting public health and the environment while delivering renewable power from the cleanest technology available.

FuelCell Energy’s patented power platforms are unique in their ability to run on on-site biogas without combustion, and they help community facilities like SacSewer produce efficient, clean, and continuous electricity with reduced operating expenses. Plus, the community benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and fewer pollutants. FuelCell Energy’s technology is also helping local governments meet their sustainability goals by minimizing or avoiding the use of combustion-based boilers for heat while boosting their resiliency and limiting their dependence on the local grid, said Jason Few, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy.

FuelCell Energy has been doing business in California since 2005 and has partnered with several government entities seeking to provide clean energy to their communities through innovative platforms.

This includes three other installations successfully running on biogas in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Tulare.

Electrochemical process

FuelCell Energy platforms use an electrochemical reaction to create clean energy, rather than combustion, which has multiple benefits.

The system runs directly on on-site biogas from the wastewater treatment process, without costly upgrading to pipeline quality gas, or pipeline build-out to connect that gas to a common carrier pipeline to produce clean power.

FuelCell Energy’s proprietary fuel clean-up system removes siloxanes and sulfur compounds to maximize usable on-site biogas.

The fuel cell’s chemical reaction is virtually free of NOx, SOx, and particulate matter (PM) emissions. The residual heat generated by the fuel cell will support the anaerobic digestion (AD) process.

In addition to the environmental sustainability aspects of the platform, the project with Sacramento Sewer, Ameresco, and FuelCell Energy demonstrates the use of available state and federal benefits designed to help communities develop clean energy projects.

Domestic content provider

When Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022, it included provisions to allow owners of clean energy projects to increase their federal tax credit benefit by 10 percent, provided the taxpayer could meet the domestic content requirements included in the legislation.

Since its establishment in the United States in 1969, FuelCell Energy has manufactured its core technology domestically and has a long-time commitment to working with other domestic manufacturers, including in California.

Based on the rules issued by the IRS in 2023, FuelCell Energy is a domestic content provider.

In California, FuelCell Energy’s platforms have received key certifications under the California Air and Resource Board (CARB) distributed generation standards, which allows the local air quality management district to utilize a streamlined air permitting process, accelerate the installation of this installation and clean energy projects the company pursues in California.

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