Versa Power plans fuel cell manufacturing plant

Colorado-based Versa Power Systems is making plans to build a manufacturing plant for its 10 kW planar solid oxide fuel cells.

‘We’re about six to 12 months away from making decisions on where, how and when to build a manufacturing plant,’ Versa Power CEO Bob Stokes told the Denver Business Journal. He adds that the details, including the size of the plant and how it will be paid for, still are being worked out.

Like most fuel cell developers the company isn’t profitable yet, but its 2008 revenues were approximately $7.5 million, and sales may clear $10m this year, according to Stokes.

Stokes said the company is also looking at a project in the eastern US that would use the firm’s fuel cells to store solar power for use when the sun isn’t shining. Solar-generated electricity could be used for electrolysis to produce oxygen and hydrogen, which could be stored for use when power is needed.

The company was founded in 2001 as a joint venture between the Gas Technology Institute in Illinois, the California-based Electric Power Research Institute, Materials and Systems Research Inc in Salt Lake City and the University of Utah.

Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy subsequently acquired an equity position in Versa Power, transferring in the former SOFC development team and assets of Calgary, Canada-based Global Thermoelectric. It is working with FuelCell Energy as one of the teams within the Department of Energy’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program.

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