FuelCell Energy, Inc. celebrated the opening of its newest clean energy project at a "cable cutting" ceremony in Derby. The 14-megawatt baseload fuel cell project located on Roosevelt Drive consists of 10 fuel cells and will supply power to thousands of customers of Eversource and United Illuminating. It is the second largest fuel cell park in North America following only FuelCell Energy's Bridgeport fuel cell park and will generate substantial tax revenue for the city.
The location in Derby was selected by the state, which held a competitive bidding process as part of its efforts to foster distributed utility scale clean energy solutions that can be deployed in high density areas throughout Connecticut. Additionally, the fuel cell park is the first major project to come online since the state launched its new "Make it Here" marketing campaign designed to show the strength of its manufacturing base. All the components of this facility were made in FuelCell Energy's Torrington, Connecticut, factory.
While fuel cells can serve a variety of functions, such as creating hydrogen or capturing carbon, in Derby they are being used to deliver competitively priced, Class I Renewable Energy as part of 20-year power purchase agreements with Eversource and United Illuminate. In Connecticut, a Class I renewable energy source is defined by statute as electricity produced from wind power, geothermal power or fuel cells. Joining FuelCell Energy President and CEO Jason Few at the ceremonial opening were Governor Ned Lamont, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg, Derby Mayor Rich Dziekan, and other key policy makers who have championed the local fuel cell industry and clean energy in the state.
Eversource and United Illumination were represented, as well. FuelCell Energy was founded in Danbury in 1969. The company continues to maintain its headquarters there and has a manufacturing facility in Torrington.
The company's heritage and in-state manufacturing led it to proudly adopt the new "Make It Here" state branding and messaging unveiled in October 2023. FuelCell Energy President and CEOJason Few commented, "FuelCell Energy works with a broad range of companies and industries all over the world. We help businesses and communities with decarbonizing power generation, increasing energy resiliency and reliability, capturing carbon and enabling industry and society to strive toward a cleaner and more secure future.
In addition, we produce hydrogen as a cleaner fuel to power the next century, move transportation forward cleanly and provide long duration energy storage". Project Background: The Roosevelt Drive fuel cell project, delivering 14 megawatts of power, is located on privately leased land and was the location of today's ceremony. The project was first announced in 2018 following a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Clean Energy Request for Proposals, and it is one of two fuel cell projects in Derby that were awarded to FuelCell Energy.
The second project, located on Coon Hollow Road within City of Derby Department of Public Works area, was awarded under Connecticut's Shared Clean Energy Facility (SCEF) program. The fuel cell on that site will produce 2.8 megawatts of power. Derby is a city that has a history of embracing energy innovation, including being the home of New England's first electric trolley, powering local homes and industry with the hydropower of the Housatonic River, and being the first in the country to offer both gas and electric service to customers.
Fuel cells electrochemically combine fuel and air to create power without combustion. Other energy generation processes combust methane, emitting nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), and particulate matter emissions, which can lead to smog, acid rain, and respiratory issues. The electrochemical reaction in fuel cells is virtually free of these harmful emissions.
FuelCell Energy's platforms help utilities and independent power producers eliminate or reduce emissions while strengthening grid reliability. The fuel cells are also being used to deliver a variety of functions, including including including hydrogen or capturing carbon, and the fuel cells are being used to create power without combustion.