Storage

Would You Like Hydrogen With That?

As part of its ongoing effort to diversify its energy supply and advance the implementation of clean, distributed generation on Long Island, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has announced, at a McDonald’s restaurant partially powered by a Plug Power Inc. fuel cell, that it will purchase an additional 45 fuel cell systems for installation across Long Island this year, for the first time installing them in Long Island homes.

West Babylon, New York – February 27, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Twenty-five of the 5 kW fuel cell systems – called GenSys5CS – will be installed at LIPA’s West Babylon Fuel Cell Demonstration Site, which currently contains fuel cell systems feeding directly into the Long Island electrical grid. The remaining 20 systems will generate on-site heat and power for single or multi-family residential sites, for the first time in LIPA’s service territory. “Fuel cells play a key part in our technology mix for providing Long Island customers with clean and efficient energy,” said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. “This application at McDonald’s demonstrates how far we’ve all come to better understand the integration of fuel cells into the electric grid at a customer site. We plan to continue working with Plug Power and our customers to evaluate and measure the potential of fuel cells for heat and power generation and back-up supply, which will also help us achieve Governor Pataki’s goal of 25 percent of our state’s electricity needs supplied by alternative energy technologies within 10 years.” The McDonald’s fuel cell was installed by LIPA as part of its alternative energy technologies research and development program, which is part of its Clean Energy Initiative. In addition to its grid-connection program for fuel cells at its West Babylon substation, LIPA has also been placing Plug Power fuel cells at various commercial locations around Long Island, including Hofstra University and Babylon and East Hampton Town Halls. Kessel said that he was particularly pleased to announce that LIPA would begin to install fuel cells in Long Island homes, calling it “the dawning of a new era on Long Island.” He said that he hoped that thousands of Long Island homes and businesses eventually have fuel cells to relieve LIPA of some of the resources needed to build additional on-island power plants. “I am proud that my McDonald’s restaurant will be one of the first Long Island businesses to utilize this new fuel cell system,” said Peter Hunt, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “Working with the Long Island Power Authority is a great opportunity for us to conserve energy and reduce emissions, as well as contribute to keeping Long Island environmentally friendly.” The GenSys5CS unit transforms natural gas to hydrogen, will be monitored remotely and contains stand-by capacity – the ability to provide electricity to critical loads during periods of grid outage. Last year Plug Power delivered 121 systems, generating approximately 1.6 million kWh of electricity in the field, a large portion of it on Long Island.