Wastewater Treatment Plant to Run on 1 MW of Renewable Energy

FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced the sale of its DFC1500MA power plant to operate on anaerobic digester gas from a sewage treatment facility serving the southern California city of Riverside.

The facility treats 30 million gallons of wastewater daily. The Direct FuelCell (DFC) plant was sold through FuelCell Energy’s distributor, Alliance Power Inc. Riverside will own and operate the DFC1500MA at Riverside’s Water Quality Control Plant through its Public Works Department and will assume ownership of the unit upon project completion. “Fuel cells allow us to capture more power per unit of digester gas when compared to existing engines,” said Ronald O. Loveridge, mayor of the city of Riverside. “As the city expands, there is increasing demand on the wastewater plant. Using the Direct FuelCell will allow us to offset a greater portion of our growing electrical demands with less impact on the environment.” Renewable fuel for the DFC1500MA power plant will come from gas generated in the wastewater treatment process. This digester gas until now has been used by three reciprocating engines that power the treatment plant. “The superior emissions characteristics of our fuel cells are an important factor in California — a state that is very serious about its clean air programs,” said William Karambelas, FuelCell Energy’s Vice President of Business Development, Western Region. “We expect that the city of Riverside installation will serve as an effective model for those future installations.” California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is providing $4.5 million for the project through the Southern California Gas Company. Current SGIP funding levels have been extended by the California legislature until January 1, 2012.
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