Al Gore’s new HQ powered by fuel cell CHP

Former US vice-president Al Gore’s new London, England headquarters is to be powered by fuel cell combined heat and power technology.

The fuel cell has already been installed at the crown estate development on Regent Street in central London, where Mr Gore’s sustainable investment company, Generation Investment Management is sited.

The cost of the new system, the first of its kind to be installed in the UK, has not been revealed but the crown estate's head of development, Alastair Smart told the Guardian, "It offers a commercially viable and sustainable source of energy. One of the main reasons for this is that the infrastructure lasts for 20 years, a lot longer than traditional systems."

Al Gore
Climate campaigner Gore said the £400m Quadrant 3 redevelopment showed a "sophisticated commitment to sustainability".

The cell was developed by US company FuelCell Energy and will emit 38 per cent less carbon dioxide than using electricity from the grid and heat from gas-fired boilers, according to the crown estate, which says 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be saved per year. Unlike fossil-fuel-burning power plants, the fuel cell produces power with virtually no nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SOx) or particulate matter (PM) pollution.

The new plant forms part of the central energy system that serves 500,000 sq ft of offices, shops, flats, restaurants and hotels in the Quadrant development.

Also quoted in the Guardian, Mike Rinker, at the US department of energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said: "We anticipate this type of (CHP) system could reduce the fuel costs and carbon footprint of a commercial building by approximately 40 per cent, compared with conventional electricity and heat use." PNNL is testing its fuel cell system at 10 businesses in California and Oregon in the US.

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