FCE and Caterpillar Use Fuel Cell for Distribution System

November 14, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCE, Danbury, CT), Caterpillar Inc. (Peoria, IL) and the city of Westerville, OH, have brought on-line one of the first utility-scale fuel cell power plants in North America that will feed power to consumers from a substation. The project is a first for the state of Ohio and it was funded in part through Governor Bob Taft's Third Frontier Fuel Cell Initiative, a $103 million dollar program that aims to position Ohio as a national leader in the growing fuel cell industry.

The 250 kW DFC power plant creates the hydrogen it needs from a readily available fuel, natural gas. The unit is manufactured by FuelCell Energy and distributed by Caterpillar through its dealer Ohio Cat. The fuel cell power plant is located at Westerville's electric substation #2, and when fully operational it will produce enough energy to power approximately 180 homes in Westerville.