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Friday, February 1, 2008

Clean power headed to city

By James Tinley
Register Staff
MILFORD
— The city should soon be home to a "clean energy" fuel cell power plant as the project this week gained final approval from state utility regulators.
The Department of Public Utility Control announced its decision Wednesday to grant final approval for the project and six other alternative energy projects. The seven power plants will produce a total of 109 megawatts of energy and are designed to help reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The projects will be subsidized by premium rates being paid to the selected power plants. That cost will be shared by ratepayers throughout the state. Only two biomass projects and one landfill gas project are expected to provide financial benefits to ratepayers, totaling more than $70 million.
But, "the seven projects selected are expected to result in an additional cost to ratepayers of $101.5 million over the life of their contracts," according to the DPUC decision.
The contracts can last up to 20 years.
DPUC spokeswoman Beryl Lyons defended the project as it diversifies the state’s means of energy production and said the projects are positive for the environment.
"Renewable energy is a good thing, period, because it diminishes and mitigates our dependence on fossil (fuel)," Lyons said.
The nine-megawatt power plant planned for Milford will produce enough energy to run about 400 homes; it will cost about $35 million to build, according to officials from Fuel-Cell Energy of Danbury, which will manufacture the fuel cells.
The power plant will feature three fuel cells housed in boxes that are 60-feet long, 20-feet wide and 13-feet high. It will be installed on Oronoque Road near the city transfer station.
Texas Based Enbridge Inc. will own and operate the fuel cells. The cells will capture energy that is normally lost through transmission of natural gas by Southern Connecticut Gas Co. The process also will heat the gas in the line, negating the need for burners to heat the gas.
The fuel cell system is more efficient than conventional fossil fuel plants and produces very low amounts of harmful carbon and other chemical emission, R. Daniel Brdar, CEO of Fuel-Cell Inc. said, after the project granted preliminary approval in December.
Ann Berman, chairwoman of the city’s Environmental Concerns Coalition, said she is pleased to see the fuel cell technology come to Milford, and hopes fuel cells will be installed in the future and run without the use of natural gas.
"I think it’s a great thing and it’s another good example of clean energy," Berman said. "I love to see it."
James Tinley can be reached at jtinley@nhregister.com or 876-3030.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous bozo said...

CLEAR HEADS

1. The projects will be subsidized by premium rates being paid (by RATEPAYERS) to the selected power plants.

2. The nine-megawatt power plant planned for Milford will produce enough energy to run about 400 homes; it will cost about $35 million to build:

400 homes @ $35,000,000
OR
$87,500 per home

3. The contracts can last up to 20 years.

Once again the Department of Public Utility Control has shown it's contempt for the ratepayers in CT. Rate increases? no problem!

Why should we have to subsidize these companies whose projects will be obsolete in 5 years yet require our dollars for another 15 years? And what about the cost overruns, corruption investigations, legal fees...?

Beryl Lyons and Ann Berman come Clean!

February 1, 2008 at 3:53 PM 
Anonymous The Scarlet Pimpernel said...

Man O man you hit the nail squarely on the head. Bravo! All this stems back to all the rocket scientist we sent to Hartford and they give us Power Deregulation, which cause much of this. What a bunch of dunder-heads. Yet they still stand by what they did. 50% increase to homes and 75% to businesses. I now hear how they are looking for ways to keep business in CT,... .well...how about stop chasing them out with 75% power increases! Just NUTZZZ!

February 16, 2008 at 8:17 AM 

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