Fuel Cell System Installed in Sheraton Hotel

A 250-kilowatt fuel cell system has been installed at the Starwood Sheraton Edison Hotel in Raritan Center by a distributed generation and energy services subsidiary of PPL Corporation.

Edison, New Jersey – August 8, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The system, manufactured by FuelCell Energy of Connecticut, provides about 25 percent of the hotel’s electricity and hot water. PPL Corporation, which has an equity investment in FuelCell Energy and is a U.S. distributor of its fuel cells, will own, operate and maintain the fuel cell system. The Sheraton Edison project is part of a master agreement that PPL Corporation and Starwood Hotels & Resorts signed that could eventually lead to PPL installing fuel cells at other Starwood properties across the country. A similar fuel cell project at Starwood’s Sheraton Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey, is scheduled for completion in September. “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 that PPL is providing to our customers. PPL is proud to supply Starwood with an efficient, reliable on-site fuel cell energy system.” According to PPL Corporation, fuel cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as fuel, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the fuel is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels. “We are thrilled that our first hotel application of fuel cell system technology has been completed and are pleased to be working in conjunction with PPL on this important initiative,” said John Lembo, director of Energy for Starwood. “Having been the recipient of the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for the last two years, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will continue to adopt and implement environmentally safe and friendly practices that save energy and protect the environment. We feel that energy fuel cell technology will play an important role in reducing harmful emissions and reduce the hotels’ overall energy costs.” According to PPL Corporation, because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and wastewater treatment gas, FuelCell Energy power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure. “We are delighted to be working with Starwood as it continues its vision and commitment to environmental leadership with the first of two installations of our power plants at its hotel properties this year,” said FuelCell Energy Chairman and CEO Jerry D. Leitman. “This unit represents PPL’s fourth successful installation, demonstrating its role as a premier provider of ultra clean energy using our highly efficient fuel cell power plants.” The New Jersey Clean Energy Program provided $860,000 in funding to PPL as part of its incentive program to encourage the use of clean and efficient energy technology. PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls about 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in U.S. markets, and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
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