FuelCell converts methane gas into electricity
Aug 23, 2010 - The Stamford Advocate - Energy Central
FuelCell Energy Inc. has
devised a way to extract megawatts from chicken droppings.
The Danbury-based maker of high-efficiency, ultra-clean
electricity plants using renewable and other fuels recently
sold a 1.4 megawatt fuel-cell power plant to G3 Power Systems
Inc. that will convert chicken manure into usable energy.
It is being installed at Olivera Egg Ranch LLC in French
The installation is the first of several initiatives by
FuelCell to convert animal waste into clean energy, said
R. Daniel Brdar, FuelCell Energy's chairman and chief executive
"There's really an untapped source of waste material
that can be turned into 'green' power," he said.
The City of Turlock, Calif.'s Regional Water Quality Control
facility is using a 1.2 megawatt DFC1500 fuel-cell power
plant that is turning methane gas into fuel.
The Olivera Egg Ranch plant, expected to be in operation
by mid-2011, will create methane gas as a waste by-product
through the use of a large concrete dome called an anaerobic
digester, and then use it as fuel to generate enough electricity
to meet all of the ranch's power needs.
"This pioneering fuel-cell power plant project demonstrates
my commitment to the environment, enabling me to convert
the waste stream from my poultry operations into bio-gas,
which in turn is processed into clean, 'green' power," Ed
Olivera, owner of Olivera Egg Ranch, said in a statement. "My
waste disposal costs will decrease, as will my power bill,
as the poultry operation will continually generate the
fuel needed to create electricity, reducing the amount
of electricity needed from the electrical grid."
Olivera Egg Ranch is a third-generation family farm producing
about 14 million cartons of eggs a year for stores and
restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. Founded in 1949,
the operation has three locations producing and distributing
chicken, duck, quail and goose eggs.
"We evaluated all of the power generation options
available in the marketplace today and identified fuel-cell
power plants as the best commercial technology available
to meet baseload power needs in an efficient and environmentally
friendly manner," Ray Brewer, president of Novato,
Calif.-based G3 Power Systems Inc., said in a statement.
FuelCell is expected to develop numerous power plants
for converting animal waste into power, said Peter Wright,
an analyst with Tradition Equities who covers FuelCell.
"It's a fantastic return on investment for them because
it requires minimal tweaking of their equipment," he
FuelCell will service the power plant under a five-year
service agreement. The sale of this power plant represents
the first order by G3 Power Systems under an agreement
that provides non-exclusive distribution rights for FuelCell
Energy's power plants, which are generating power at more
than 50 locations worldwide. They have generated more than
500 million killowatt hours of power using fuels including
wastewater gas, bio-gas from beer and food processing,
as well as natural gas and other hydrocarbon fuels.
Shares for FuelCell fell two cents Wednesday to $1.24
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