Europe’s first megawatt industrial fuel cell power plant officially in operation

Source: E.ON

Contrary to conventional power plants, this energy solution delivers heat and electricity virtually absent of pollutants, making it a milestone for the green energy of the future.

Energy history in the making in Mannheim: The first European fuel cell of megawatt size is now operating there. Contrary to conventional power plants, this energy solution delivers heat and electricity virtually absent of pollutants, making it a milestone for the green energy of the future. The innovative plant, which was jointly installed by E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions at FRIATEC AG, was officially put into operation on Monday. Over the course of at least ten years, it will provide clean energy for the production processes of materials specialist FRIATEC.

With a capacity of 1.4 megawatts, this fuel cell power plant is the only one of its kind in Europe to date. In terms of technology and environmental protection, fuel cells represent a promising alternative to conventional combined heat and power plants. In comparison with other decentralized technologies such as gas turbines, they use fuel sources far more efficiently. In addition, they generate power in a non-combustion process which is virtually absent of pollutants. By using this fuel cell, FRIATEC will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 3,000 tons per year. This corresponds to the CO2 emissions of approximately 250,000 family cars per 100 kilometers.

The fuel cell power plant was installed in only nine months as a joint project by E.ON Connecting Energies, E.ON’s subsidiary for commercial and industrial energy solutions, and FuelCell Energy Solutions, a joint venture by Fraunhofer IKTS and FuelCell Energy Inc. E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions have entered into a long-term energy partnership to offer high-performing clean fuel cell technology to customers in energy-intensive sectors.

Klaus Wolf, Board of FRIATEC, states: “E.ON and FuelCell Energy Solutions are long-term partners of FRIATEC. Sustainability is on top of the agenda of the Aliaxis Group, and the construction of this fuel cell power plant is a great opportunity to make our stance publicly known. This environmentally friendly power plant was a logical step on our way to continually improve our production processes in the context of our environmental management.”

Karsten Wildberger, a member of the E.ON SE Board of Directors, adds: “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, since such highly innovative, economical, and clean solutions are at the core of the new E.ON“.

Chip Bottone, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy, states: “Together with E.ON, a leading supplier of energy solutions, 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, which have already proven themselves in many locations around the world, into new markets.”

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