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FuelCell Energy closes on San Bernardino Fuel Cell financing with Crestmark

In the United States (US), FuelCell Energy, Inc. a global leader in fuel cell technology has announced that it has closed on a tax equity financing transaction for the recently completed 1.4 MW SureSource 1500 biofuels fuel cell project with the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department (SBMWD) in California (CA) with Crestmark Equipment Finance (Crestmark), a division of MetaBank N.A.

FuelCell Energy, Inc. has closed on a tax equity financing transaction for the recently completed 1.4 MW SureSource 1500 biofuels fuel cell project with the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department (SBMWD) in California (CA) with Crestmark Equipment Finance (Crestmark), a division of MetaBank N.A (photo courtesy FuelCell Energy).

According to a statement, Crestmark’s commitment totals US$10.2 million through a ten-year sale-leaseback structure and further demonstrates the market’s interest in FuelCell Energy’s differentiated ability to use on-site biofuels, to eliminate flaring and deliver carbon neutral decarbonization energy platforms.

Crestmark is pleased to support FuelCell Energy and its management team in the deployment of such an important critical-use application. Crestmark is focused on the alternative energy market and has designed targeted funding solutions for the industry. This project, and the scalable and renewable power solution FuelCell Energy delivered, are a solid fit with our efforts in this industry, commented Jon Ellis, VP of Alternative Energy Finance at Crestmark.

Servicing a population of approximately 200 000 residents, the SBMWD delivers more than 15.5 billion (US) gallons (≈ 58.7 billion litres) of water per year and provides wastewater collection and treatment at the wastewater reclamation plant.

FuelCell Energy’s “SureSource 1500” platform is co-located with the SBMWD water reclamation plant and operates on the City’s anaerobic digester gas, which is treated by FuelCell Energy’s proprietary SureSource Treatment system, producing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week carbon-neutral renewable electricity.

The San Bernardino Fuel Cell Project has contracted to sell the clean electricity from the facility to SBMWD under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

We are excited to team up again with Crestmark and add this important financing solution that enables us to recycle capital for additional clean energy and decarbonization projects and initiatives. This is our second sale-leaseback financing transaction executed with Crestmark and we are pleased to expand our relationship with their organization. Crestmark has a deep understanding of the quality solutions delivered by our products, including carbon neutral projects directly leveraging on-site biofuels, said Michael Bishop, EVP and CFO of FuelCell Energy.

The SureSource Treatment system developed with FuelCell Energy’s extensive experience with on-site biogas treatment enables the on-site cleaning of biofuel and use of it without injection into the common carrier gas pipeline.

Gas treatment requirements are reduced compared to pipeline injection because of the ability of SureSource fuel cell systems to utilize low-Btu biogas reducing cost and creating more value for the generator of the biofuels. Additionally costly pipelines to interconnect to common carrier gas pipelines are eliminated.

Beyond the obvious benefit of producing carbon-neutral electricity, the SureSource 1500 platform uses biogas produced on-site as a waste product of wastewater treatment that would otherwise be vented or flared.

This approach the company says prevents energy waste and the production of harmful local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thus improving air quality. The platform converts the biogas to hydrogen to produce clean, renewable, power, as well as thermal energy to support more efficient operation and conversion of wastewater gas to biofuels at the SBMWD.

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