DANBURY, Conn., Oct. 3, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL) a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today announced a $6.0 million cost share award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to continue existing research and development under phase III of the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) coal-based systems program. The SECA program is a collaboration between the Federal Government, private industry, and academia to develop megawatt-class solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power plants to efficiently and cleanly generate electricity from coal syngas. High efficiency power generation from coal syngas advances the nation's energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As the program progresses to long term operation with coal syngas, near term applications using natural gas in combined heat and power applications is also a focus. The term of the award is 12 months and under the SECA program's cost share parameters, the DOE will fund 70 percent of the total award amount or $4.2 million.
The objective for this award is to further enhance the performance and endurance of the SOFC stack through continued cell materials research and testing of a 60 kilowatt (kW) SOFC power plant connected to the electric grid at FuelCell Energy's Danbury, Connecticut facility. The results of these tests will be utilized in the design of a scalable 60 kW SOFC power plant with extended capabilities for combined heat and power (CHP) applications. The scalable design is the foundation for the larger multi-megawatt SOFC power plants. The power plant utilizes the SOFC fuel cell stack blocks manufactured by Versa Power Systems, Inc. Both the module which houses the stack blocks as well as the balance of plant for processing fuel, delivering air and producing heat and power are designed by FuelCell Energy. The SOFC module is fuel flexible, capable of operating on a variety of fuels including coal syngas, natural gas, renewable biogas or directed biogas. The continuation of the SECA project will provide the basis for the larger stationary power plants which will take advantage of the fuel flexibility including coal.
"We are making excellent progress towards commercial applications with leading edge solid oxide fuel cell technology for stationary applications," said Tony Leo, Vice President Application Engineering & Advanced Technology Development, FuelCell Energy, Inc. "We believe this technology can provide an industry leading electrical efficiency of approximately 60 percent and still provide usable heat for combined heat and power applications, resulting in total estimated thermal efficiency between 80 and 85 percent."
The DOE's SECA program is currently focused on development of technologies suitable for large-scale coal based applications such as Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell (IGFC) power plants. The USA has approximately one quarter of the world's recoverable coal deposits, the largest of any nation. Almost half of the power generated in the USA is from coal and this coal generated power contributes over one quarter of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions. Fuel cells operating on coal syngas can generate clean power with virtually zero pollutants and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Versa Power Systems, Inc. is a leading developer of environmentally friendly solid oxide fuel cells, a clean-tech source of power to generate electricity for a range of applications. Headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, the Company has built systems integral to research projects conducted by partners including Fortune 500 industrial manufacturers, government agencies and associations focused on energy research. FuelCell Energy, Inc. owns approximately 39 percent of Versa Power Systems, Inc.
About FuelCell Energy
Direct FuelCell® power plants are generating ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide. With approximately 180 megawatts of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations and other customers around the world. The Company's power plants have generated more than one billion kilowatt hours of ultra-clean power using a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as clean natural gas. For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com
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This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, whether the Company is able to reach definitive agreements on the terms contemplated in the memorandums of agreement with POSCO Energy, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Company's ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
Direct FuelCell, DFC, DFC/T, DFC-H2 and FuelCell Energy, Inc. are all registered trademarks of FuelCell Energy, Inc. DFC-ERG is a registered trademark jointly owned by Enbridge, Inc. and FuelCell Energy, Inc.
CONTACT: FuelCell Energy, Inc. Kurt Goddard, Vice President Investor Relations 203-830-7494 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:FuelCell Energy, Inc.