Nation’s Largest Fuel Cell Project Lands on Long Island

Verizon is operating the largest fuel cell project of its kind in the country, using seven fuel cells built by UTC Power of South Windsor, Connecticut, to supply electric power at its large call-switching center and office building on Long Island. The fuel cells are expected to reduce dependence on commercial electric power and provide another layer of network reliability in the event of a disaster.

“As we all know, the telecommunications infrastructure is a critical, vital part of the fabric of our society — in good times and bad,” said Michael Balboni, NY State Senator. Verizon has installed outside its Garden City building seven fuel cells, each of which is capable of generating 200 kW of electrical power per hour. By using electricity from the fuel cells and reclaiming the heat and water they produce to help heat and cool the building, Verizon is eliminating some 11.1 million lbs. of carbon dioxide that would have been emitted into the atmosphere by a similar-sized fossil-fuel based power plant during one year — and the company expects to save $250,000 annually in commercial power costs. “The private sector has shown that they are willing to invest in this technology because they recognize the value and environmental responsibility that it represents,” said US Representative Carolyn McCarthy. “I believe the federal government can play an active role in supporting the advancement of fuel cell technology and reducing emissions by continuing to invest in the technology and doing all it can to assist both the private sector and local governments that want to provide a safe, quiet and clean source of power.” Major funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Verizon also expects to receive some funding from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).