Caterpillar Inc. and FuelCell Energy Inc. have achieved an important milestone in their partnership with the installation of the largest fuel cell power generation plant in Illinois. The 250 kW Direct FuelCell power plant is now operational and was commissioned yesterday at the Caterpillar Technical Center north of Peoria. Financial details of the installation were not disclosed.
The FuelCell Energy DFC300A power plant, which can supply electricity to more than 250 average American homes, will be connected to the Peoria area electricity grid. This initiative, under the joint development agreement signed by both companies in April 2002, will allow Caterpillar to utilize the power plant as a demonstration unit for customers, Caterpillar dealers and development engineers.
The alliance agreement between Caterpillar and FuelCell Energy involves the distribution and development of ultra-low emission fuel cell power generation products for industrial and commercial use. The agreement calls for the companies to jointly develop power plants in the 250 kW to 3 MW size range, incorporating FuelCell Energy’s fuel cell module.
"We are very pleased to showcase fuel cell power generation technology in Illinois," said Sherril K. West, Caterpillar’s chief technology officer. "We view these power plants as an important addition to Caterpillar’s portfolio of distributed generation products. This installation will demonstrate to prospective customers that fuel cell power plants are ready for commercial applications, and can be purchased through Caterpillar’s world class dealer network."
"This installation is part of the continuing commitment of FuelCell Energy and Caterpillar to jointly develop the market for our DFC products," said Jerry D. Leitman, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy Inc. "This further demonstrates that our DFC distributed generation solution is ready to meet customers’ needs today."
In August of this year, Caterpillar and FuelCell Energy announced their first joint sale of a fuel cell power generation plant in the state of California. The plant will be used by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts at the Palmdale Water Reclamation Plant in northwest Los Angeles County.