Fuel Cell Today | Anaergia Inc. | Link to article
A 2.8 MW fuel cell system powered by renewable biogas has come on line in California, marking the start of the largest power purchase agreement using such a system in North America. The molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) was supplied by FuelCell Energy.
The fuel cell system has now been fully commissioned and is in operation at the RP-1 Water Recycling Facility (RP-1) in Ontario, California. Anaergia Inc. (which specialises in the generation of renewable energy from organic waste) built, financed and now owns and operates the system. It does so under a twenty-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA).
The RP-1 Water Recycling Facility, which can treat up to 44 million gallons a day of wastewater, purchases base load power from Anaergia to offset approximately 60% of the grid power previously used by the facility to treat wastewater. This provides a reliable power source at predefined and competitively priced rates.
The benefits of using such a system, combining the efficiency fuel cell technology with renewable biogas, are numerous:
- Long-term cost savings for the water treatment facility;
- The facility also gains a degree of self-sufficiency and independence from the grid;
- The carbon dioxide emissions generated by the fuel cell system can be considered ‘carbon neutral’ as the carbon is from a renewable source (waste) rather than fossil fuel;
- Cleaner air for the residents of Ontario, California and California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District through the use of one of the most environmentally sustainable options available.