Benefits of fuel cells for renewable energy over wind...
The San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, the largest advanced wastewater-treatment facility in the Western U.S., will soon be home to a 1.4-megawatt DFC1500 power plant, designed by FuelCell Energy, Inc.
FuelCell Energy is a leader in manufacturing ultra-clean, high-efficiency power plants by utilizing renewable and other fuels. UTS Bioenergy LLC will purchase the DFC1500 unit, in which power generated, will be sold to the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant under a 20-year power purchase agreement. FuelCell Energy will be responsible for servicing the power plant under a long-term service agreement. The unit is due to begin operating at the start of 2012.
"The Environmental Protection Agency recently acknowledged our Plant as one of the nation's top facilities for producing and using renewable energy on-site -- about two-thirds of the energy used by our 11 megawatt facility comes from methane derived from digester and landfill processes. We want to operate as much as possible on clean, sustainably-produced electricity, and adding this fuel cell generated power to our energy portfolio will help us do that," stated Dale Ihrke, Plant Manager.
"We're also getting the fuel cell generated power at a reasonable, known price over the 20-year term, helping to remove uncertainty in future power costs. And because fuel cells produce clean energy with minimal air permit requirements, we've significantly reduced regulatory uncertainty compared to other power generation options."
Why fuel cells for renewable energy?
Fuels cells are renewable when operating on biogas like the methane generated by the wastewater treatment process. DFC fuel cells are different than wind and solar in that they supply baseload power around the clock, which is particularly useful to a wastewater treatment plant, and minimizes reliance on the transmission grid. Fuel cells have the capacity to achieve up to 90 percent efficiency when byproduct heat from the fuel cell electrical generation process is used. The result is lower energy costs and higher electricity per unit of fuel. The byproduct hear will be used in the wastewater treatment process from this fuel cell installation.
"Fuel cells offer reliable baseload power and their ability to operate on renewable biogas offers real value to wastewater treatment plants," stated Arun Sharma, Vice President Business Development, UTS BioEnergy LLC. "Our customer had demanding requirements to obtain clean and reliable power at competitive costs. DFC power plants are the solution for meeting challenging power generation requirements."
"Wastewater treatment plants represent an excellent application of our clean, efficient and dependable fuel cell power plants," commented Chip Bottone, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc.
Read about other successful fuel cell innovations.
ScottishPower submits plans for UK's largest electrolyser
ScottishPower has submitted a planning application to deliver the UK’s largest electrolyser which will be the key component of a green hydrogen facility located close to its Whitelee windfarm.
Alongside the 20MW electrolyser, the application also includes proposals for a combined solar and battery energy storage scheme - up to 40MW and 50MW respectively - to power the electrolyser. They will be installed about 5km west of Lochgoin Reservoir and next to the existing Whitelee Extension substation.
The submission marks an important step for Green Hydrogen for Scotland, a partnership between ScottishPower, BOC and ITM Power, to create green hydrogen production facilities with clusters of refuelling stations across Scotland.
The proposed green hydrogen project will be engineered and operated by BOC, using wind and solar power produced by ScottishPower Renewables, and the electrolyser will be delivered by ITM Power. The project aims to supply hydrogen to the commercial market before 2023.
Green Hydrogen for Glasgow aims to provide carbon-free transport and clean air for communities across Glasgow as well as helping support industrial hydrogen demand in the region. The city, set to host the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference, COP26, later this year, aims to become the first net zero city in the UK by 2030.
Barry Carruthers, ScottishPower’s Hydrogen Director, said: “With all eyes set to be on Glasgow later this year as the city hosts the UN’s 26th climate change conference, COP26, it’s fantastic to be making this next important step towards delivering green hydrogen for Glasgow.
“Whitelee keeps breaking barriers, first the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, and soon to be home to the UK’s largest electrolyser. The site has played a vital role in helping the UK to decarbonise and we look forward to delivering another vital form of zero carbon energy generation at the site to help Glasgow and Scotland achieve their net zero goals.”
He added green hydrogen has a vital role to play in Scotland and the wider UK’s journey to Net Zero emissions, providing a sustainable energy source that can provide clean, renewable energy for industries, heavy transport and companies for future decades.
Green hydrogen is a zero carbon energy source which can be used by industries and companies that cannot fully electrify their operations to help them lower their emissions, for example, heavy duty transport like buses and bin lorries.
The technology gets its name from the green power source, normally wind or solar, used to power an electrolyser to split water into its core elements; hydrogen and oxygen gas. The hydrogen can then be stored and transported for use as needed.
The green hydrogen facility at Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore windfarm, will house a 20MW electrolyser and would be able to produce up to 8 tonnes of green hydrogen per day, roughly equivalent to fuelling over 550 buses to travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh and back again each day.
Graham Cooley, CEO ITM Power, said it marks an exciting milestone based on market development for green hydrogen for the city of Glasgow, that will see the UK’s largest electrolyser deployment to date being realised in Scotland.
Mark Griffin, Hydrogen Market Development Manager for Clean Fuels at BOC said: “The scale of this project demonstrates the growing demand for clean hydrogen and as a member of the Green Hydrogen for Scotland partnership, we’re delighted to bring our hydrogen mobility and refuelling project expertise to help deliver a ground-breaking facility in Glasgow.”
The hydrogen production facility could support Glasgow City Council as well as surrounding local authorities and industries in their ambitions to create a zero emissions vehicle fleet, using only electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles by the end of 2029.
ScottishPower expects a decision on the planning application in autumn.
The UK recently announced a £3 million investment to develop the Tees Valley hydrogen transport hub (click here).