Long Island Power Seeks 10 MW Fuel Cell Partner

Long Island Power Authority Chairman Richard M. Kessel announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the construction and operation of a fuel cell generation project capable of producing 10 MW of electricity, enough to power about 10,000 homes, that would be the first of its kind in the nation.

The fuel cell project will be located at LIPA’s West Babylon substation, where a fleet of prototype fuel cells had been tested by LIPA in recent years. The project would be available for Summer 2006. “We must take the next step in advancing the developing fuel cell technology,” Kessel said. “Utilizing fuel cells for generating larger amounts of electricity for distribution through LIPA’s power grid will allow us to harness new power supply resources that are environmentally benign.” The fuel cell project will help Long Island meet the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal that has been set by Governor Pataki and the state’s legislature. It’s also a part of LIPA’s ten-year, $355-million Clean Energy Initiative established in 1998 at the Governor’s direction to develop and use renewable energy technologies. “Being clean, efficient and available 24/7, fuel cell technology plays a very important role in weaning ourselves off environmentally harmful practices,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI). “LIPA’s efficiency, solar, wind, and fuel cell initiatives, combined with Governor Pataki’s directive to meet 25 percent of New York State’s electricity needs with renewable energy sources within ten years, mean that we are finally on the way to a sustainable energy future for Long Island and New York.” Under the terms of the RFP, LIPA is seeking a Proposer that will: – Build, own and operate a 10 MW fuel cell facility for up to a 20-year period; – Take full responsibility for all project development costs; – Utilize the LIPA-supplied site in West Babylon; – Demonstrate its experience and expertise in the areas of fuel cell project development, permitting, siting, construction and operation; – Be responsible for the cost of interconnecting with LIPA’s electric distribution system, and the local natural gas distribution company (LDC); and – Agree to a Commercial Operation Date (COD) of no later than July 1, 2006 In return, LIPA will enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for up to 20 years for the capacity, energy ancillary services, and environmental attributes from the project. LIPA also will assist with community relations and permitting activities, and will be responsible for providing the natural gas commodity for generation as well as for all gas transportation and LDC delivery charges. Key RFP milestone dates include: a Proposers’ Conference to be held on March 1, 2005; RFP response deadline of April 25th; project award date of June 23rd; and Commercial In-Service Date of July 1, 2006.
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