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California, US biogas fuel cell project begins operations

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US company FuelCell Energy has begun operations at its 2.8MW fuel cell project at a wastewater treatment facility in California. The power plant is fuelled by biogas generated from the city of Tulare, which is then treated by the SureSource TreatmentTM system, a clean-up technology optimised by FuelCell Energy’s experience with onsite biogas treatment.

Prior to installing the fuel cell, the methane-rich biogas was flared, which wasted energy and produced harmful emissions, according to the company. FuelCell’s plant is now using that biogas and producing clean, renewable carbon-neutral power. The fuel cell uses a natural chemical reaction to generate energy, reducing the nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides, particulate matter and carbon emissions profile in the area.

The company’s SureSource 3000TM will also supply clean renewable heat to the wastewater facility’s anaerobic digesters, helping to further reduce carbon emissions. “I am proud of our team for delivering the Tulare Biogas Project,” said Jason Few, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy.

“Globally, our solution delivers renewable and affordable power at a scale that is meaningful to communities and the utilities that serve them. In addition to the significant environmental benefits of our solution, we also support our partners by providing a negative carbon footprint that supports offset emissions from their other forms of power generation.”

Under the State of California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff programme, FuelCell Energy has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with local electric utility Southern California Edison.