US communications giant AT&T has become the largest non-utility user of Bloom Energy’s fuel cells with a new order for 9.6 MW of capacity.
‘Bloom Boxes’ will be installed at AT&T facilities in California and Connecticut, taking the company’s total fuel cell power capacity to 17.1 MW.
Once fully operational, the fuel cells are expected to produce more than 149 million kWh of electricity a year at 28 facilities – equivalent to the power needed for over 13,680 homes.
Bloom Boxes contain stacks of fuel cells that convert air and natural gas into electricity through an electrochemical process, which produces 50% less carbon emissions than typical grid electricity and is virtually free of SOx, NOx and other smog-forming particulates.
“A key differentiator for fuel cells compared to other forms of alternative power is that fuel cell electricity production is virtually constant,” explains AT&T’s energy director, John Schinter.
This stable electricity supply – excluded from the volatility of electricity prices – has made Bloom Boxes popular with large energy users since their launch just two years ago.
AT&T signed an initial contract with Bloom Energy in 2011 for 7.5 MW of fuel cell power, along with a host of other high profile US corporations including eBay, Walmart and Adobe.
“AT&T continues to be on the forefront of energy management and understands the need to find innovative ways to power the next generation,” says K. R. Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy.
For further information:
eBay bids to run data centre on Bloom Energy’s fuel cells (27-Jun)
Long-awaited ‘Bloom Box’ launches in California (25-Feb 2010)
04 October 2012