The project is designed to test the fuel cell unit's application for providing peaking capacity and load management over a three-year period. Initial plans call for the trailer-mounted unit to be delivered in December 2009 and located in Ohio, USA.
Ballard, which is based in Canada, will provide its heavy-duty proton exchange membrane (PEM) based FCvelocity™ fuel cell products for the project.
John Sheridan, Ballard's President and CEO, says: “We see the sale to FirstEnergy as an entry step into distributed power generation, in niche applications where Ballard can provide fuel cell solutions which leverage the unique advantages of PEM, such as scalability and responsive load following. We are also exploring other clean energy distributed power generation opportunities using waste hydrogen. By using our existing heavy-duty FCvelocity products, we are able to test this market without incurring significant development cost."
Gary R. Leidich, FirstEnergy Executive Vice President and President of FirstEnergy Generation, adds: “This demonstration project will provide valuable information about utility scale fuel cell technologies and their potential to provide cost-effective solutions for peak demand and load management, as well as helping to meet our advanced and renewable energy goals in the states where we operate.”