FuelCell Energy to Design Direct Fuel Cell

September 17, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

FuelCell Energy Inc. (Danbury, CT) has been notified by the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) that it has been selected to design, construct and operate a 250kW direct fuel cell at the Harrison Mining Corporation coal mine in Cadiz, OH, 50 miles west of Pittsburgh. Negotiations leading to a final award are expected to be completed by the end of September 2000.The objective of the project is to reduce methane emissions associated with underground coal mining operations. The project will demonstrate the ability of a direct fuel cell to generate electricity using coal mine methane emissions that conventionally escape into the atmosphere. Costs for the $5.4 million, three-year program will be shared equally by DOE and FuelCell Energy. Site design is planned to begin this fall, with construction anticipated to be underway by January 2001 and operations to commence in the third quarter of 2002."The DOE has been supporting the development of fuel cells for more than two decades," said Mark C. Williams, fuel cell product manager for NETL. "This application to coal mine methane effectively combines efficient power generation with a solution to mitigate greenhouse gases." Jerry Leitman, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy stated, "We're pleased to work with the DOE and the NETL in support of their efforts to reduce emissions of coal mine methane gas into the atmosphere."