San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
announces plans for first fuel cell project
All fuel cells contain two electrodes - one positively and one
negatively charged - with a substance that conducts electricity
(electrolyte) sandwiched between them.
Illustration courtesy U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency
Bay City News Service
January 11, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Public Utilities
Commission announced Wednesday it has approved a new agreement
to design, permit and build San Francisco's first fuel cell project
by the end of this year.
The project, which would be built at the SFPUC's Southeast Wastewater
Treatment Plant, would use a 600-kilowatt fuel cell to convert
gases that are naturally emitted from the wastewater treatment
process into electricity to be used to help run the plant.
According to SFPUC spokesman Tony Winnicker, the process will
also reduce the plant's need to flare or burn waste gas, which
in turn is expected to significantly reduce the plant's emissions
in local neighborhoods.
"The fuel cell project is another step toward achieving
our clean energy vision for San Francisco,'' SFPUC General Manager
Susan Leal said in a statement. "Generating renewable power
from waste gas is a win for our ratepayers, a win for the environment
and a win for the neighborhood's public health.''
Work on the fuel cell project is scheduled to begin in February,
according to Winnicker. The project will receive funding in the
form of special funds from San Francisco's renewable energy project
and from SFPUC Power Enterprise operating funds.
The agreement authorizes Otto H. Rosentreter Company and Alliance
Power to partner in designing, permitting and building a $2.2
million molten carbonate fuel cell energy generation plant, with
a five-year operation agreement, Winnicker reported.
According to Winnicker, an additional $2.7 million rebate from
the California Public Utilities Commision-mandated Self-Generation
Investment Fund will cover the costs of purchasing the fuel cell
unit and hardware.
More information on this project can be obtained at www.sfwater.org.
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