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Adobe Powers HQ with 1.2-MW Fuel Cell System

Adobe Systems has completed the installation of a 1.2-megawatt (MW) fuel cell system from Bloom Energy at its San Jose headquarters that will generate 30 percent of the facility’s electricity needs. The fuel cell installation is expected to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and energy costs as well as mitigate power outage risks.

Adobe expects to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 121.5 million pounds over 10 years with the fuel cell system.

In addition, the new installation will cut Adobe’s electricity costs from about 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour from 13 cents it pays for grid power from PG&E, according to Randy Knox, senior director of global workplace solutions at Adobe, reports Greentech Media.

Knox told Greentech Media that the price includes maintenance, fuel and the amortized cost over the 1o-year operational life of the fuel cell, along with the 30 percent federal tax credit and California incentives.

Additional cost savings could have been achieved by using standard methane in the system but Adobe opted to buy bio-methane from a landfill over a five-year period, according to the article.

Touted as the largest commercial Bloom Energy fuel cell installation to date, the system, comprised of 12 Bloom Energy servers, or “Bloom Boxes,” is installed on the 5th floor of Adobe’s West Tower at the company’s headquarters campus, which is composed of three high-rise towers and a parking structure.

Each server is the size of an average parking space and contains thousands of Bloom fuel cells, which convert air and biogas into electricity via a clean electrochemical process, producing zero net carbon emissions, says Bloom Energy. Typically, one server generates enough power to meet the needs of approximately 100 average U.S. homes or one small office building.

The Bloom fuel cell installation is Adobe’s second major renewable energy installation. In December 2009, Adobe installed 20 Windspire wind turbines.

“Installing Bloom Energy fuel cells supports Adobe’s efforts to remain at the forefront of utilizing impactful, clean technologies to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Randall H. Knox, III, senior director, Global Workplace Solutions, Adobe. “We hope to be an example to other companies considering cleaner, more affordable energy sources for their operations.”

A host of major U.S. companies including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, eBay, FedEx, Google, Staples and Wal-Mart have purchased the Bloom Energy Server since its official launch in February.

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4 thoughts on “Adobe Powers HQ with 1.2-MW Fuel Cell System

  1. This is so stupid. These 3-year-life expensive fuel cells use natural gas to make electric, but not as efficiently as a 500 mW combined-cycle natural gas power plant. Goes to show that hype and gullible people trump facts and science — if the people are gullible enough.

  2. This is a step in the right direction to start reducing the use of fossil plants for electricity AND to change the power architecture from central fossil fuel electrical plants to decentralized and local power production. Is it the best and cleanest solution? (These are just big batteries) Maybe not.

    But they are a start in the right direction. Consnider this to be like the the first manned earth orbit. Soon we will have people landing on the moon. And remember how much value to society that the NASA born technologies have created for us.

    Its a start.

  3. It’s a double renewable energy purchase. They have contracted for bio-methane as a fuel source. Cheap co-opted advertising through hot topic press releases and gains a 30% energy savings. It sounds smart to me.

  4. Hey so first guy, this is just a natural gas to electric(ity) tingy…. if so I still think it must produce some emmissions right? If so then, despite the fact you use strange wordage n stuff, i do agree with ur statement. This is just a scaled down version of something that can be done on a large scale thats stupid and not cost or energy effecient (economies of scale) and therefore, though yes a ‘step’ in the right direction still sorta dumb. But all for 30% energy savings for a company like that, especially one i use everday for internet sources, yesi!!!!!!

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