Fuel Cell Unit Installed at Coast Guard Station

A PPL Corporation subsidiary has completed the installation of a clean, reliable fuel cell energy system at one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations on the East Coast.

Bourne, Massachusetts – May 28, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] At a dedication ceremony at the air station, PPL’s distributed generation and energy services subsidiary said it recently completed the installation, commissioning and testing of a 250 kW fuel cell system at the United States Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod in Bourne, Massachusetts Air Station Cape Cod is one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations on the East Coast, flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in support of its search-and-rescue and maritime law enforcement operations and other missions. Its crews protect life and property from the Canadian border to Long Island, N.Y., and provide logistics support for offshore lighthouses in New England. FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Connecticut manufactured the air station’s fuel cell power plant, which uses natural gas that will be supplied by KeySpan Energy Delivery, New England, for fuel. The system provides electricity to the air station, including its hangars and administrative buildings, and supplies hot water for use in the air station’s barracks. PPL has an equity investment in FuelCell Energy and is a distributor of its fuel cells in the U.S. The Coast Guard contracted with PPL for this on-site fuel cell system because it needed a power source its personnel can count on, particularly when fierce Atlantic storms knock out power on the traditional electricity grid. “A reliable supply of electricity is essential to these skilled pilots as they undertake life-and-death rescue operations,” said Paul Champagne, president of PPL EnergyPlus. “Until recently, this type of energy technology was not available commercially, and its practical use was very limited. But fuel cells are now part of a growing range of environmentally friendly energy solutions.” “The Coast Guard strives to be a conscientious steward of our natural and fiscal resources and the environment,” said Captain Francis Dutch, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. “The fuel cell technology will allow us to continue in our stewardship role through its supply of `green’ energy.” Champagne said the unique new energy alliance on this project among PPL, the United States government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is an example of PPL’s belief in reaching out to partners beyond its traditional sphere to cultivate the next generation of power supply. Funding for this US$1.7 million project came from a variety of federal, state and private sources that support new, emerging energy technologies. “We are thrilled that this is the site for the first commercial fuel cell installation in Massachusetts using funding from the state’s Renewable Energy Trust,” said Trust Director Rob Pratt. “This fuel cell ensures that critical systems will operate even under adverse conditions so that the brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard can continue to protect public safety along our shores.” A number of New England-based PPL subsidiaries participated in the installation, including Millennium Builders of Glastonbury, Conn.; B-G Mechanical Contractors of Chicopee, Mass.; and PPL SavageAlert of Glastonbury, Conn. PPL has a number of other fuel cell projects that are now in various stages of development: — In April 2002, it signed an agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. to install, own and operate one 250 kW fuel cell system at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel and another at the Sheraton Edison Hotel Raritan Center. The fuel cells for both New Jersey hotels are currently being installed and will come on line in the summer of 2003. — During the summer of 2002, it received grant approval for US$920,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a fuel cell project at Starwood’s Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in midtown Manhattan. — In August 2002, it signed an agreement with Ocean County College in Toms River, N.J., to install a 250 kW fuel cell. It will provide heat and electricity to several buildings on the campus. — In October 2002, it signed an agreement with Zoot Enterprises of Bozeman, Mont., to install two 250 kW fuel cells. Zoot will use the fuel cell power plant system in conjunction with traditional diesel fuel generators and the electric grid to meet the electrical reliability requirements of its building and to support future development at its high-technology campus. PPL expects to take delivery of these units in June 2003 and to complete the installation in the summer of 2003. — In March 2003, it signed a financial assistance agreement with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund for a fuel cell project at an industrial site in Bloomfield, Conn.
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