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American Honda installs 1 MW stationary fuel cell system at California campus

American Honda Motor Co has installed a 1 MW fuel cell system on its Torrance, California campus. The fuel cell power plant consists of five Bloom Energy Servers, each producing 200 kW of clean electric power.

The solid oxide fuel cell installation at American Honda consists of five 200 kW Energy Servers manufactured by Bloom Energy, running on natural gas.

The fuel cell installation will provide 25% of Honda’s electricity needs for its 1.13 million square feet (105 000 m2) of office space, research, design and development operations, and parts distribution centre on the 101 acre (41 ha) campus. The power generated by the fuel cell system would power approximately 750 average-sized homes each day.

For each megawatt-hour of power the fuel cell system generates, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 18–25%, according to internal calculations based on the California AB 32 Scoping Plan and data provided by Bloom Energy. Over a project life of 10 years, the system will reduce Honda’s CO2 emissions by approximately 16 million pounds (7250 tonnes).

In addition to higher efficiency, the fuel cell technology offers significant water savings, as it requires no water beyond an injection of 240 gallons (900 litres) at startup. Compared to the average water demands of California power plants, Honda estimates that it will save more than 3.25 million gallons (12 000 m3) of equivalent water used per annum.

Over the past decade, American Honda has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint at its Torrance campus, including installation of high-efficiency cooling systems, and a recent lighting retrofit that cut the facility’s CO2 emissions by nearly 750,000 pounds (340 tonnes) per annum.

American Honda contracted with Bloom Energy and its partner, Core States Group, to design, develop and implement this project. Bloom Energy will provide all monitoring and maintenance for the fuel cell power plant.

‘A stationary fuel cell system is a natural next step in our ongoing efforts to further reduce American Honda’s environmental impact,’ says Garth Sellers, Honda’s manager of North American corporate facilities. ‘Honda already produces a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle – the FCX Clarity – so we know this type of technology is an effective means of reducing our carbon footprint.’

Bloom Energy launched its Energy Server product in early 2010, and has built an impressive range of blue-chip customers including eBay, Coca-Cola, and AT&T.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Green building