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Fuel Cell Power Plant Installed at Frozen Food Processing Plant

Carla’s Pasta plans to install a fuel cell power plant at its frozen food processing facility in South Windsor, Conn., to ensure 24/7 reliable power, cut  fuel costs and lower its carbon footprint. The fuel cell is expected to provide 60 percent of the energy needs of the recently expanded facility.

“We operate our frozen pasta and pesto plant 24 hours per day and were attracted by the fuel cell power plant’s reliability and energy security as it generates power right on our property,” says Sergio Squatrito, vice president, operations, Carla’s Pasta. “The high efficiency of the fuel cell power plant decreases our fuel and electrical costs, and lowers our carbon footprint. Our environmental stewardship is further enhanced with the installation of these fuel cells as the energy generation process emits virtually zero harmful pollutants.”

LOGAN Energy will purchase and install the 300-kW DFC300 fuel cell power plant with a five-year service contract from FuelCell Energy.

The power plant will be configured to recover the byproduct heat from the fuel cell energy conversion process to be used for facility heating and heating hot water for the production process and general facility needs. This combined heat and power (CHP) configuration can achieve up to 80 percent efficiency, which is more than twice as efficient as power delivered via the transmission grid, according to the company.

The power plant is expected to be operational by mid 2011.

The purchase of the fuel cell power plant was partially funded by a $750,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF).

CCEF recently funded a 400-kW fuel cell installation in a new mixed-use 700,000 square foot residential development in the center of the New Haven, Conn.

In other fuel cell news, Ballard Power Systems completed factory testing of a utility-scale proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell-powered generator, using the company’s PEM fuel cells.

The system will be installed at FirstEnergy Generation’s Eastlake Plant in Ohio in the third quarter of 2010 for a multi-year demonstration. Ballard believes the installation will be the largest PEM fuel cell generator deployed worldwide.

Ballard designed the generator to provide clean energy peaking capacity, which is targeted at heavy energy demand periods in the summer months, and tested the generator to a power level of one megawatt.

Ballard says because fuel cells use hydrogen to produce electricity — with heat and water as by-products — this technology is a more environmentally-friendly means of generating power than diesel or coal alternatives. The Ballard generator also is transportable so it can be relocated to other sites on a seasonal basis.

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2 thoughts on “Fuel Cell Power Plant Installed at Frozen Food Processing Plant

  1. Dumb idea. A pasta plant is a low-margin, low wage business so it derives very little value from this technology. What were the grant-makers thinking? Cause I dont get it.

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