Universities in particular value on-site power generation to help ensure reliable and resilient power and clean power to support their sustainability goals. “If they can accomplish all of this while reducing their energy costs, then it is compelling to them,” a FuelCell Energy spokesperson told Energy Manager Today. “Fuel cell power plants are well-suited for schools as they are clean and quiet and don’t need much land so they are easy to site on a college campus. Additionally, the fuel cells help the schools reduce their energy costs in a number of ways. The fuel cells are very efficient, which is passed onto the school. As they are located on-campus, no transmission is needed, which is an added cost to grid-delivered power. When configured for combined heat and power, the university can then lessen use of combustion-based boilers for heating which reduces their overall fuel usage.”
Some examples of other universities with fuel cell power plants include University of California, San Diego, Central Connecticut State University, California State University San Bernardino, and San Francisco State University.
Earlier this month, the Navy’s submarine base in Groton, CT, announced that long-term power will be supplied by two fuel cell power plants, also from FuelCell Energy. The energy company is working with the submarine base via a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Cooperative, which in turn will work with Groton Utilities to implement the power supply.