Fuel Cell Power Plants Installed on Campus

FuelCell Energy, of Danbury Connecticut, and its partner, a subsidiary of the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based PPL Corporation, have completed the installation of two Direct FuelCell (DFC) 250 kW power plants for Zoot Enterprises’ high-technology campus located eight miles west of Bozeman, Montana. The units use natural gas for fuel and produce electric power and hot water for heating and domestic uses.

Bozeman, Montana – September 4 , 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Zoot is using the fuel cell power plants in conjunction with the electric grid and diesel generation to meet the primary electrical requirements of its building and to support future development at the campus. Zoot is currently installing the necessary equipment for its DFC power plants to operate independent of the electric utility grid and is very close to achieving that goal. “After the recent northeastern U.S. blackout, we expect many other businesses to follow Zoot’s example, utilizing our products to assure critical power needs are met while relieving load from a congested grid,” said Herbert T. Nock, senior vice president of marketing and sales for FuelCell Energy. PPL’s distributed generation and energy services subsidiary developed the project and FuelCell Energy manufactured the fuel cells. “Until recently, fuel cell energy technology was not available commercially, and its practical use was very limited,” said Michael E. Kroboth, president of PPL Energy Services Holdings. “However, fuel cells are now part of a growing range of environmentally friendly energy solutions.” The total value of the Zoot fuel cell project is US$3.8 million, with $1.4 million provided in the form of a grant from the United States Department of Energy. U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-Montana) and U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana) were active supporters of the project and assisted in securing federal funding. “We are thrilled with the success of the fuel cell project,” said Chris Nelson, president and CEO of Zoot Enterprises. “Fuel cells provide very reliable power, which is vital to our business. More importantly, they have an extremely low impact on the environment, which is important to us personally.” The Zoot campus, which ultimately is expected to include 14 commercial lots, is the site of Zoot’s recently completed 155,000-square-foot headquarters building. The headquarters building will house 410 employees at full capacity, including an electronic data processing center that performs the company’s core business functions.
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