Opinion

Fuel Cell Power Plants are Used in Diverse Ways Across the United States


U.S. fuel cell power plant capacity, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report

At the end of 2016, the United States had 56 large-scale fuel cell generating units greater than 1 megawatt (MW), totaling 137 megawatts (MW) of net summer capacity. Most of this capacity (85%) has come online since 2013. Fuel cells collectively provided 810,000 megawatthours (MWh) of electricity in 2016, representing 0.02% of total U.S. electricity generation.

Fuel cell systems typically produce hydrogen gas from hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas using thermochemical processes such as steam reforming. The hydrogen reacts with oxygen across an electrochemical cell similar to that of a battery to produce electricity and water. Although nearly 85% of fuel cell capacity in 2016 used natural gas, fuels such as landfill gas or biogas from the decomposition of sewage at wastewater treatment plants were also used, potentially allowing the generation from fuel cells to qualify for renewable portfolio standards in certain states.

Fuel cell power plants are sometimes used for backup power at small facilities such as hospitals. They can also be used to operate data centers for large private corporations that have committed to consuming 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

Commercial and industrial sector fuel cell power plants are sometimes used in combined heat and power application, meaning they produce heat and steam in addition to electricity. Overall combined heat and power applications made up 26 MW of the 137 MW operating in 2016; the rest provided only electricity.

Fuel cell capacity factors in 2016 ranged significantly, reflecting a wide operating range for these fuel cells. Some were operated infrequently: 8 of the 50 plants in operation for all of 2016 had a capacity factor of 30% or lower, likely reflecting limited-use applications such as peak shaving or back-up capacity. Some were operated more frequently: about 25% of fuel cell generators had capacity factors exceeding 85%, likely reflecting primary power supply applications.

Fuel cells with combined heat and power applications typically had much lower capacity factors than those that delivered electricity only, with median capacity factors of 44% and 81%, respectively.

U.S. fuel cell power plant capacity factors, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report, Form EIA-923, Monthly Power Plant Report

In 2016, 36% of total U.S. fuel cell capacity was in California, which has a number of incentives for distributed generators such as fuel cells. Fuel cell generating units in Connecticut accounted for 27% of U.S. 2016 fuel cell capacity, and plants in Delaware accounted for 22%. Both states allow fuel cells with nonrenewable fuel to meet requirements for renewable portfolio standards. The remaining fuel cell power plants are located in North Carolina and Utah.

Principal contributor: Fred Mayes



New service from OilVoice
Trip Shepherd is for companies who need to track their staff in areas of risk.
It's free to use, so we invite you to try it.

Visit source site

https://eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35872&...

EIAEnergy Information Administration EIAUnited StatesUSFuel Cell Power PlantsFuel CellPowerElectricity

More items from oilvoice


Cyber Security Experts Unite to Protect Europe’s Critical Industries

CS4CA Summit Returns to London this October Staying abreast of fast-paced industry developments is crucial for cyber security professionals. And while one can learn a lot from publications and social media, it's hard to beat the value of insights gained first-hand from peers. This is why 150+ IT ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 1 year agoPress > cybereurope

Africa E&P Summit

The organisers of the Africa E&P Summit are bringing together Africa's leading exploration companies and governments, just one of the many reasons why you should be attending frontier's event that they are organising and hosting in London at the IET: Savoy Place, 22-23 May. Over 200 key senior exec ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 1 year agoPress > Africasummitoil summit +2

Equinor Deepens in Offshore Wind in Poland

Equinor has exercised an option to acquire a 50 % interest in the offshore wind development project Bałtyk I in Poland from Polenergia. This transaction is a follow-up of the agreement between the two companies which came into force in May 2018 , by which Equinor acquired a 50 % inter ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 1 year agoPress > EquinorEquinor EnergyPoland +2

Nigeria has highest capex on crude and natural gas projects in sub-Saharan Africa Over Next Seven Years, says GlobalData

Nigeria accounts for more than 34% of the proposed capital expenditure (capex) on planned and announced crude and natural gas projects in the sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2018–2025, according to GlobalData , a leading data and analytics company. The company's report: ‘H2 2018 Production ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 1 year agoOpinion > GlobalDataNigeriaCrude +5

CNOOC Signs Strategic Cooperation Agreements with 9 International Oil Companies

HONG KONG, Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CNOOC Limited (the "Company", SEHK: 00883, NYSE: CEO, TSX: CNU) announced today that its parent company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), has signed Strategic Cooperation Agreements with 9 international oil companies including: Chevron, Conoco ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 1 year agoPress > CNOOCChina National Offshore Oil CorporationChevron +11
All posts from oilvoice