The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced $15 million is available for the installation and operation of fuel cell systems that will support critical infrastructure in the state such as hospitals, police and fire stations and supermarkets. The siting of fuel cell systems at buildings where the power will be consumed avoids the traditional transmission and distribution system losses of electricity and its associated greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, fuel cells improve the efficiency of the electricity system, supporting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Strategically placed fuel cell systems can reduce stress on the electric grid while contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, both priorities of Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy agenda. By integrating fuel cells into our energy infrastructure, we are building a more resilient energy system that can better withstand more frequently occurring extreme weather events.”
Fuel cells can supply power to critical building loads during a power failure, thereby providing resiliency. The amount of funding available for individual projects varies based on how the system will be used. Fuel cell systems supporting critical infrastructure will receive the highest amount of bonus incentives under this funding opportunity. Systems capable of working independent of the grid and providing back-up power during outages will also receive incentives. Funds will be available through December 31, 2019 and no project will receive more than $1 million. Each fuel cell module must be greater than 25 kilowatts.
The funding is made available through the state’s Clean Energy Fund, which is administered by NYSERDA.
As of March 2018 there were 24 NYSERDA funded continuous-duty stationary power fuel cell systems operating in New York, representing 7.1-megawatts. NYSERDA is also supporting 12 additional projects that are under development and will add 2.5-megawatts of power once they are completed.