Fuel cell on-site power plant a first in Europe

Europe’s first megawatt-scale fuel cell power plant has come online in Mannheim, Germany.

The 1.4 MW plant was installed in nine months by E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions at a facility (pictured) which produces jointing technology for pipe systems and high-performance ceramic components, operated by global materials firm Friatec AG.

The combined heat and power (CHP) plant is expected to meet around 60% of the power needs for Friatec’s manufacturing operations, while its heat will be supplied to the existing on-site heating grid, to be used at multiple production areas within the facility.

E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions said fuel cell power plants generate power in a non-combustion process which is virtually pollutant-free.  

The companies added that they have now entered into a long-term partnership to offer fuel cell technology to customers in energy-intensive sectors.

Karsten Wildberger, a member of E.ON’s board of directors, said: ‘Fuel cells are one of the key technologies for the clean energy world of tomorrow. The inauguration of this plant is a very special occasion for us.’

And Chip Bottone, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy, added: ‘Together with E.ON, we are able to implement fuel cell power plants with capacities in the multi-megawatt range. This partnership allows us to introduce our fuel cell power plants … into new markets.’

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