IdaTech To Design & Produce 50 Beta Fuel Cell Systems For TestingSeptember 25, 2000 by Jeff Shepard
IdaTech (Bend, OR), a part of IDACORP, recently announced that it has received official notice from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA, Portland, OR) to proceed with the design and production of the first block of 50 beta fuel cell systems for testing in 2001. The announcement comes at the completion of three months of field testing of IdaTech's alpha fuel cell system for various residential applications. "This marks the completion of another important technical milestone towards commercialization of our first fuel cell products in 2002," commented Alan Guggenheim, president of IdaTech. "With the achievement of this milestone, we are accelerating our field test program with BPA and other customers."The objective of the BPA program is to identify improvements and features necessary to the commercialization of fuel cell systems for 1kW and 3kW applications in the home, business and consumer markets. IdaTech has been testing methanol fuel cell systems at customers' sites this summer."More and more of our customers today are looking for reliable power in remote, difficult to serve locations," stated Kevin Watkins, vice president of engineering for Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative (Portland, OR), an association of electric utilities that is involved in this summer's test program. "IdaTech's compact and mobile PEM fuel cell systems should provide an ideal solution once their testing phase is complete."