The Marubeni Corporation and Fuel Cell Energy announced the siting of two Direct Fuel Cell (DFC) power plants at the Epson facilities in the City of Ina, Nagano Prefecture, in Japan. Marubeni, Asian partner of fuel cell developer Fuel Cell Energy, will supply two 250 kW DFC power plants to the First Energy Service Company, Ltd. (FESCO), a Tokyo-based energy services company, who will own and operate the units, in the fourth quarter of 2003. FESCO has a long term contract to supply power to Epson's Quartz Device Division. The DFC units will operate on liquefied natural gas and provide clean, reliable power and steam to the industrial site.
"We are pleased to provide Epson with a very clean, highly-efficient distributed power generation system for their Ina facility," said Marc G. Aube, Vice President of Marubeni Power International. "Epson sees 'harmonization with the global environment as a priority issue for its corporate management and has committed itself to environmental conservation activities on a company-wide basis.' The present fuel cell project is part of this wider endeavor to protect the environment. DFC's offer a clean alternative to traditional reciprocating engine-based distributed generation."
"We are also very excited to be working with FESCO in this project," said Mr. Aube. "Marubeni believes that energy service companies will be instrumental in providing an alternate choice to consumers for power and services in the deregulating power market in Japan."
"Marubeni continues to pioneer new applications for our DFC products, and this installation at the Epson plant is another example of the benefits of Direct Fuel Cells to industrial and commercial customers," said Herbert T. Nock, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales of Fuel Cell Energy, Inc. "By using both the electricity and the heat output of the power plants, Epson can realize cost savings and reduce emissions into the air, as compared to their current system."
According to FESCO, the DFC could produce a total energy savings of up to 32 percent compared to the equivalent amount of energy from the plant's existing grid and boiler system.
These are Marubeni's fifth and sixth DFC power plants in Japan. Previously, Marubeni announced the siting of 250 kW DFC power plants at the JAPEX natural gas production fields near Nagaoka, the Nippon Metal Industry facility in Aichi, the Fukuoka Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment District, and at the Kirin Brewery in Toride.
Direct Fuel Cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as fuel, such as natural gas is supplied. Since the fuel is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels (like NOx, SOx, particulates). The high efficiency leads to more electric power from less fuel.
Fuel Cell Energy develops and manufactures high temperature hydrogen fuel cells for clean electric power generation.