NRG Plans to Add Fuel Cells, Solar to Montville Power Plant

Author:Fuel Cells Works     Source:Fuel Cells Works     Click:403     Publish time:2013/8/7 17:02:30

NRG Energy Inc. on Monday announced plans Monday to add fuel cell and solar elements to a biomass conversion at its Montville power station on the same day it filed to get a long-term contract with the state government.

At a news conference at the Lathrop Road station, Montville Mayor Ron McDaniel expressed support and gratitude for NRG’s plans. McDaniel is chairman of Renew Montville, a group formed last year to support the conversion of Montville Unit 5 to a wood-burning biomass generator.

“This has risen to a new level,” the mayor said. “This is really about jobs.”

The “renewable energy park” project, which now includes 5.6 megawatts of natural gas-fired fuel cell generation and 2.3 megawatts from a planned solar panel “farm,” will create 300 construction jobs and 200 long-term jobs, including those servicing fuel cells, working in the biomass facility, and in logging and transportation, said Jon Baylor, manager of the NRG Montville project.

New Jersey-based NRG’s investment of at least $100 million, of which at least half will be financed through loans, will be a “showcase for renewable energy,” Baylor said. NRG’s bid will be attractive to state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection administrators weighing which firms should be awarded contracts for 175 megawatts in the Class 1 generation category, he said.

NRG filed its plan with DEEP in Hartford on Monday, which was the deadline for a government request for proposals, he said. A DEEP spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.

“We believe we’ll be competitive on price and very competitive on the economic benefits for Connecticut,” Baylor said.

NRG’s plans are a way to use local wood from Eastern Connecticut’s plentiful forests to power Unit 5, which would be turned into a 42-megawatt biomass unit from an 82-megawatt steam unit fired by gas and oil, said state Rep. Timothy Bowles, D-Preston.

“We are weaning ourselves off of out-of-state, dirty biomass in favor of in-state, clean biomass,” he said.

Danbury-based FuelCell Energy Inc., which is building the world’s largest fuel cell generation plant in Bridgeport, has joined the Montville project, NRG announced Monday. Ben Toby, who oversees FuelCell Energy’s Eastern U.S. sales, touted his company’s facilities as “safe, quiet and clean,” and at least 65 percent more efficient than most power plants.

Keywords:NRG Plans to Add Fuel Cells, Solar to Montville Power Plant
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