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FuelCell Energy appoints NRG senior vice president to board of directors

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:37 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy appoints Christopher Sotos

Power-plant developer FuelCell Energy has added Christopher Sotos, senior vice president of strategy, mergers and acquisitions at power distributor NRG Energy, to its board of directors.

At US-based NRG Energy, Sotos is responsible for the development, execution and implementation of the company's business strategy across all platforms, retail and wholesale business models as well as smaller venture capital investments and strategic relationships.

He has over two decades of experience in corporate financial management and business strategy.

"His power generation industry experience and expertise in business strategy and financial management make him a valuable addition to the FuelCell Energy Board and the Company it serves," said Chip Bottone, chief executive officer at FuelCell Energy.

"FuelCell Energy provides one of the few clean distributed energy baseload solutions for customers. I look forward to actively contributing to the growth of FuelCell Energy and providing insight into fuel cell applications in the power markets,” said Sotos.

In August this year, NRG Energy bought $35m of FuelCell Energy shares and extended a $40m loan in order to enable FuelCell to invest in project development, project finance and working capital support. NRG Energu now owns 6% of the outstanding common stock of the Connecticut-based company.


NRG Energy invests $35m in FuelCell Energy

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 10:30 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy

US-based NRG Energy has bought $35m of FuelCell Energy shares and extended a $40m loan.

The investment enables power-plant developer FuelCell to invest in project development, project finance and working capital support.

“These agreements strengthen the Company’s liquidity position and are expected to accelerate deployment of multi-megawatt fuel cell projects in the U.S.,” said Chip Bottone, FuelCell’s chief executive officer.

FuelCell CFO Michael Bishop said the company aims to finish power plant projects in order to sell the fully operational power plants to long term investors.

“We believe that clean distributed power generation from fuel cells will be one of the key technologies that drive our country toward a cleaner energy future,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG’s Energy chief operating officer.

NRG Energy now owns 6% of FuelCell. “We want to actively participate in the construction of FuelCell Energy power plants,” Gutierrez added. NRG Energy and FuelCell are working together to build combined heat and power projects. The terms of the equity transaction include a warrant giving NRG Energy the right to purchase an additional 2m shares for $3.35 each.

The investment follows a €4.9m ($6.6m) funding to FuelCell and partner Fraunhofer Institute for stationary fuel cell research, given by German government in July.

FuelCells receives $6.6m German government

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:19 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy

FuelCell Energy Solutions (FCEL) and partner Fraunhofer Institute have received €4.9m ($6.6m) in funding from the German government for stationary fuel cell research.

The three-year research and development project is aimed at enhancing FCEL’s fuel cell technology by increasing the power output of the fuel stack as well as extending operating life and lowering the costs. The research will take place at FCEL’s facility in Ottobrunn and Frauenhofer’s facility in Dresden, Germany.

The awards were given by German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

"With the support of various government organizations, strategic partners and private industry, product, performance and system enhancements continue on our proprietary fuel cell technology and are now being performed on three continents. This validates the global interest in our power and hydrogen generation solutions that enhance the resiliency of power distribution in an ultra-clean and affordable manner, " said Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer of FCEL.

FCLE’s fuel cell stationary power plants utilise carbonate fuel cell technology and provide continuous baseload power located where the power is used, including both on-site applications and electric grid support.

FuelCell Energy receives US DOE grant for distributed hydrogen production

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 11:24 -- Laura Varriale
FuelCell Energy

US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded FuelCell Energy with a $900,000 grant to produce a system of distributed hydrogen production.

FuelCell will develop an electrochemical reactor using the company’s commercial carbonate fuel cell stacks to produce a distributed hydrogen generation method. The new system shall allow hydrogen to be generated more efficiently where it is needed rather than on a large scale at a central plant. According to the company, distributed hydrogen generation would reduce transportation costs and provide reliable fuel supply.

The grant is part of a $20m support to advance hydrogen production and delivery technologies.

"Developing technologies that can economically produce and deliver hydrogen to power fuel cells from diverse, domestic and renewable resources can enable substantial reductions in energy use and carbon emissions," federal energy officials said.

“This award from the U.S. Department of Energy will get the R&D started on this concept, which could be an attractive approach to generate hydrogen in a low or carbon-neutral manner," said Anthony Leo, vice president of FuelCell. Using direct fuel stacks makes the stationary fuel cell power plant versatile, claimed Leo.

The manufacturer recently completed an installation of a 14.9MW fuel cell park in Bridgeport, US, owned by Dominion Corporate.

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