Aluminum smelter provided with green electricity
Danbury, CT— FuelCell Energy,
Inc., a developer of ultra-clean electric power plants, and its
partner Alliance Power Inc., a consultant in citing economical
and environmentally friendly distributed generation facilities,
announced the signing of a contract to provide 500-kilowatts (kW)
of green electricity to a secondary aluminum smelter in southern
California that will meet or exceed the region’s tough air
Electricity produced by two 250-kW
Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) power plants will be sold to TST,
Inc., of Fontana, California, as part of a five-year power purchase
agreement. Fuel cells provide the firm, 24/7 electricity that
is appropriate for base load power requirements, which is critical
for many industrial customers.
TST, a producer, trader and processor
of aluminum, faces issues affecting many California industrials:
increasing electricity costs cutting into profitability combined
with stringent air pollution standards limiting access to on-site
generation alternatives. With support from the South Coast Air
Quality Management District (SCAQMD), TST is taking further control
of its electricity needs with clean and efficient DFC power plants.
“Industrial customers in
southern California are under mounting pressure to reduce emission
of gases and particulates,” said Andrew Stein, CEO of TST.
“We’re based in an area that has been the focus of
a number of emissions initiatives. This project gives us an opportunity
to take control of our energy sources with a market-priced source
of electricity that actually decreases the amount of air-borne
The DFC power plants are expected
to be delivered to the TST site by the first quarter of 2006.
Once the units begin operation, running on natural gas, their
waste heat will be used to replace a large burner that preheats
air as part of TST’s aluminum manufacturing process. The
project is an outgrowth of SCAQMD, which issued a Request for
Proposals to help reduce harmful emissions by industrial customers
within its region.
Financial support for the fuel
cell project includes up to $1.25 million from the California
Public Utility Commission’s Self-Generation Incentive Program
(SGIP), which encourages electrical customers to install distributed
generation that operates on renewable fuel or contributes to system
Another $500,000 stems from SCAQMD,
through funds accumulated through emissions penalties.