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UTC Fuel Cell Powers News Corp’s NY Headquarters

A fuel cell system at the News Corporation headquarters in New York City will soon provide hot water and a significant portion of electricity needs for TV studios, while reducing the building’s carbon emissions.

Located three levels below ground at the 1211 Avenue of the Americas building, the fuel cell will run on natural gas and will produce enough electricity to power 400 average homes, according to News Corporation.

By generating and using power on site with a PureCell system, News Corporation will prevent the release of more than 675 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to UTC. The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to a conventional power plant is equal to the environmental benefit of removing more than 114 cars from the road. UTC says the PureCell system also saves nearly 4.2 million gallons of water annually.

Vijay Sudan, director of News Corporation’s Global Energy Initiative, says the fuel cell brings the company closer to achieving its long-term vision: growing the business without growing its carbon footprint. The company announced that it became carbon neutral in December 2010, achieving a goal set in 2007. The then-chairman and CEO of News Corporation Europe and Asia, James Murdoch, said that by 2015, the company will reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent, reduce emissions intensity by at least 15 percent, and invest in clean energy equal to 20 percent of the company’s electricity use.

A June 2011 study by Vestas and Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that News Corp. was the communications company using the highest proportion of renewable energy.

Fuel cells produce electricity, heat and water through a combustion-free electrochemical process. They can operate independently of the electric grid, creating energy security for the building and providing a critical power backup during blackouts, natural disasters and man-made emergencies.

In June 2011, a New York City waterfront apartment building called the Octagon became the first residential property in New York State to be powered and heated by a 400 kW PureCell system, and Coca-Cola installed two UTC fuel cells at one of its refreshment plants in East Hartford, Conn.

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