Wind, fuel cell power backed by state
DANBURY — The state has selected a city fuel cell company and a major offshore wind farm developer to help bring more than 250 megawatts of clean electricity to Connecticut consumers.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other officials announced Wednesday in Hartford that FuelCell Energy of Danbury and Deepwater Wind were selected from among 27 bidders vying to provide renewable power under a request for clean energy.
FuelCell Energy was selected to supply 14.8 megawatts of power from a facility in Derby and 7.4 megawatts in Hartford. The company makes power generation equipment.
State officials selected fuel cell projects based in Colchester and New Britain, bringing the total to 52 megawatts.
Deepwater Wind will provide 200 megawatts from it’s Revolution Wind project, a 25-turbine wind farm to be built in federal water near Martha’s Vineyard. Construction of the wind farm is slated to begin in 2021 and power is to be delivered by 2023.
“We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to invest in energy projects that reduce the impacts of harmful emissions,” Malloy said.
“That’s why Connecticut is making investments in the technologies of the future, not of the past,” Malloy said. “These projects will result in thousands of new Connecticut jobs, helping to grow our economy, while doing so in a clean and sustainable way.”
The price of the electricity has not been determined and the selected companies will enter into negotiations with Eversource and United Illuminating for 20-year contracts.
The Deepwater selection marks the state’s first procurement of power from an offshore wind farm. The company built the nation’s first offshore wind farm near Block Island, R.I.
“Our Revolution Wind project will bring hundreds of new jobs to Connecticut and deliver affordable, homegrown energy to ratepayers,” said Jeffery Grybowski, chief executive officer for Deepwater Wind.
The state has committed spending $15 million to upgrade the New London State Pier to accommodate construction of the Deepwater project, including providing an area to stage and manufacture components.
The updated pier will also be used for shipments to the offshore construction site.
The fuel cell project will also create jobs and bring economic development to the host communities.
“We are pleased that DEEP has decided to award these projects,” said Chip Bottone, president of FuelCell Energy.
“Fuel cells are one of the most space-efficient, resilient clean energy technologies,” Bottone said. “These projects will provide local tax revenue, high tech manufacturing jobs, economic development benefits and clean energy resources.”
Aproposal to provide 1.6 megawatts of Anaerobic Digestion power in Southington was also selected. The process converts plant materials into methane gas for heating and power.