Construction on biofuel fuel cell project begins in California

By Erin Voegele | May 07, 2020

FuelCell Energy Inc. announced on May 4 that site construction has begun on its 1.4 megawatt SureSource 1500 biofuels fuel cell project with the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department in California. The project is expected to become commercially operational in December 2020.

FuelCell Energy said the SureSource 1500 plant will operate on the city’s anaerobic digester gas, which will be treated by the SureSource Treatment system to produce electricity and thermal energy to support the operation of the SBMWD water reclamation plant. Biogas produced by the digester is currently flared.

Once the project is commercially operational, the SBMWD will purchase the electricity it produces through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

“A few months ago, FuelCell Energy committed to executing on the build-out of our PPA backlog. That is exactly what we are doing. We are excited to enter the construction phase of our 1.4 megawatt project with the city of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department. The San Bernardino SureSource platform will utilize our utility-scale fuel cell power and heat platform, coupled with our proprietary engineered biogas treatment system," said Jason Few, president and CEO FuelCell Energy, in a statement. “The continuous power profile of our platforms makes them an excellent fit with wastewater treatment plants. Specifically, our fuel cell can operate at peak efficiency utilizing the on-site anaerobic digester gas while providing important thermal heat that enhances the treatment process. Perhaps most importantly, our platform will enable the reduction in usage of another flare.”

 “The FuelCell Energy fuel cell plant will produce renewable energy for the Water Department by using the biogas generated at the Water Reclamation Plant,” said Miguel Guerrero, general manager of the SBMWD. “Especially important to our city is the reduction of the flaring of the waste water treatment biogas, which is also a key element in the Department’s compliance plans with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.”