The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) hosted a webinar to discuss the benefits of fuel cell integration in microgrids, provide an update on Connecticut initiatives in microgrid development, describe recent fuel cell technology improvements, and provide examples of fuel cell installations in critical facilities.
During many of the Northeast’s recent catastrophic storms, significant damage to fuel distribution and electricity generation and transmission infrastructure occurred. While most of the transmission lines and fuel distribution networks have since been repaired, there is a lot of work ahead to develop a more resilient and reliable energy infrastructure. Distributed renewable generation can play a critical role in providing reliable, clean, efficient, long-term energy generation, and back-up power. In the recent storms, fuel cells played a small, but important role in supplying back-up power for key infrastructure. Unlike diesel generators and other sources of back-up power, fuel cells are highly efficient, clean, and quiet.
Fuel cells are not only for emergency back-up power; they can be used to deliver highly reliable power generation in a microgrid as long as fuel is available. Many fuel cells use natural gas, but reliability increases if fuel is provided in a closed-loop system where hydrogen is produced on-site.
1. Andy Skok, FuelCell Energy: Installations, technology updates, end-user experiences
2. Joel Rinebold, CCAT: Benefits of fuel cells in microgrids
3. Alex Kragie, CT DEEP: State initiatives in microgrid development
Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf at: http://www.cesa.org/assets/Uploads/CESA-2.20.13-Fuel-Cell-Webinar-Combined-Presentations.pdf