EPAÂ’s Green Power Partnership Top Partner Rankings Includes Companies with Fuel Cells

Apr 18, 2013 EPA has just released its Green Power Partnership Top Partner Rankings, highlighting the annual green power use of its partners – which range from Fortune 500® companies to local, state and federal governments.  Although fuel cells are barely recognized in the ratings, Fuel Cells 2000 knows that almost half of these partners have embraced fuel cell power generation (many of these partners are actually cited by EPA for their use of biogas). For example, in the EPA’s Top 20 On-site Generation rankings:
  • #1 on the list is Wal-Mart Stores Inc., cited for its use of biogas, solar and wind.  Wal-Mart now generates power at 26 of its California WalMart and Sam’s Club retail sites using Bloom Energy fuel cells powered by directed biogas.
  • #3 is Apple, included for its use of biogas.  Apple recently started up 10-MW fuel cell system at its Maiden, North Carolina data center that uses directed biogas.   The site is completely off-grid, powered both by the fuel cell system and solar photovoltaics.
  • #4 is BMW Manufacturing Company’s Greer, South Carolina facility, which uses biogas to fuel four gas turbines that supply about 10 MW of the plant’s power.  The biogas is sourced from the nearby Palmetto Landfill.  The plant also operates more than 230 fuel cell-powered forklifts and is in the midst of a project to determine the feasibility of converting some of the landfill methane to hydrogen fuel for its forklift fleet.
  • #5 is Coca-Cola Refreshments, which is recognized for its recently installed landfill-gas-to-energy system at an Atlanta facility.  But we want to note that in 2011 Coca-Cola subsidiary, Odwalla, installed a 500-kW Bloom Energy fuel cell system at its juice packaging facility in Dinuba, California that generates 30% of the plant’s power and operates using directed biogas.  In addition, Coca-Cola also has deployed natural gas-powered fuel cells to generate onsite power at facilities in California, New York and Connecticut, and operates fuel cell-powered forklifts at warehouses in North Carolina and California.
  • #10, the city of San Jose, California, is included for its use of solar power and biogas.  In 2012, the city installed a 1.4 MW fuel cell system at the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant that will generate power using methane (biogas) produced during the wastewater treatment process.  The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has also announced plans to install a natural gas-powered fuel cell at its San Jose maintenance facility.
  • #11, the city of San Diego, California, is cited for generating power using biogas, small-hydro and solar power.   We know that three fuel cell power plants (a 2.8 MW fuel cell at the University of California, San Diego; a 1.4 MW fuel cell at San Diego’s South Bay Water Reclamation Plant: and a 300 kW fuel cell at San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant) use biogas generated at the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant as the primary fuel source.
  • #14, Adobe Systems is cited by EPA for its fuel cell use (yay!):  “In late 2010, Adobe announced the installation of 12 Bloom Energy fuel cells at its San Jose campus. These fuel cells collectively provide approximately 30 percent of the campus' electricity needs, and after planned upgrades take place in 2012, they are expected to meet 80 percent of Adobe's San Jose power consumption. To reduce its use of fossil fuels, Adobe purchases green power in the form of clean biogas sourced from a landfill to power the fuel cells.”
  • #18, Safeway, is recognized for using biogas, solar, and wind power.  We know that in 2009, Safeway installed fuel cells at a new retail site in Santa Cruz, California.  This site uses 100 percent renewable energy:  the fuel cells provide 60-70 percent of the store’s power, while 896 solar panels on the roof deliver 30-35 percent of the power.
  • #19, City of Tulare, California, is also recognized for its fuel cell (another yay!): “Tulare currently generates on-site power with biogas fuel cells and solar photovoltaic panels at its wastewater treatment plant, which has reduced the overall operating costs of the plant and saved its sewer customers money in the long run.”
Hopefully, in future years, the EPA will call even more attention to their partners’ use of fuel cell technology! Green Power Partnership Top Partner Rankings: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/ EPA’s Top 20 On-site Generation Rankings: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top20onsite.htm For more information on how companies are using fuel cells, please visit http://www.fuelcells.org/images/wp-import/2012/12/FC-Business-Case-2012.pdf

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