Fuel cell power plant using biogas earns CARB certification

By FuelCell Energy Inc. | October 24, 2017

FuelCell Energy Inc., a global leader in delivering clean, innovative and affordable fuel cell solutions for the supply, recovery and storage of energy, recently announced that the SureSource 1500 fuel cell power plant operating on anaerobic digester gas (ADG) has received certification under the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB 2013) distributed generation emission standards.  This certification acknowledges the clean air profile of SureSource solutions, facilitating the air permitting process, which reduces costs and supports client sustainability goals.

“Our SureSource solution is the only technology to achieve this CARB 2013 certification operating on renewable biogas, illustrating our leadership position with ultra-clean on-site power delivered affordably,” said Chip Bottone, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy.

Municipal wastewater treatment applications for the SureSource solution are based on a comprehensive approach that enables the municipality to outsource the operation and maintenance of the fuel cell power plant as well as biogas treatment, which is also provided by FuelCell Energy using the company’s proprietary technology for biogas treatment and fuel quality monitoring. The versatile SureSource solution can utilize on-site renewable biogas or directed biogas as a fuel source and is the only fuel cell or other type of power generation technology to gain CARB certification to the 2013 Waste Gas standard using on-site biogas.

SureSource power plants are uniquely suited for operation utilizing on-site biogas since the system is able to use the low-Btu gas without a de-rating of power plant output, and the power plants produce usable thermal energy which can support the digester operation.  Power produced by the system can be used on site or sold to the electric utility under tariffs such as California’s BioMAT feed in tariff.  A modification of the technology is available in which the power plant produces vehicle-grade renewable hydrogen in addition to power and heat, supporting the developing infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles.

“We have gained extensive experience working with a number of municipal water treatment facilities, leading to our industry-leading expertise with fuel blending as well as our own state-of-the-art gas treatment and impurity monitoring processes,” said Frank Wolak, vice president sales-Americas. “This comprehensive turn-key approach to equipment supply and service provides one point of contact for our customers, and our financing alternatives include a pay-as-power-is-provided model.”

SureSource power plants solve energy, environmental and business-related power generation challenges by providing ultra-clean, efficient and reliable distributed power generation.  The fuel cells combine a fuel such as renewable biogas, directed biogas or clean natural gas with oxygen from the ambient air to efficiently produce ultra-clean electricity and usable high quality heat via an electrochemical process.  Virtually no pollutants are emitted due to the absence of combustion.  Customers benefit with operating cost reductions delivered in a manner that supports sustainability goals and enhances power reliability. With high availability and capacity factors, fuel cell power plants make meaningful contributions to sustainability goals.