November 6, 2018

FuelCell to buy Bridgeport power plant

FuelCell Energy CEO Chip Bottone.

FuelCell Energy of Danbury on Monday announced a deal to buy a 14.9-megawatt Bridgeport fuel-cell power facility from Virginia-based Dominion Energy for $36.6 million.

After a competitive bidding process, FuelCell agreed to acquire 100 percent of the equity interest in Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell LLC, a facility at 1475 State St. in Bridgeport consisting of five stationary fuel cells and a turbine that converts heat from the fuel cells into electricity. Connecticut Light & Power buys power from the plant, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

FuelCell already operates and maintains the Bridgeport facility under a service agreement with Dominion Energy and helped build it in December 2013.

"Having been the operator of the Bridgeport fuel cell park for the past five years, we are uniquely positioned to acquire and benefit from this established project," said FuelCell Energy CEO Chip Bottone.

FuelCell projects that the Bridgeport deal will generate $15 million in revenue and add to its earnings per share. The acquisition will bring the firm's power-generation portfolio to 26.1 megawatts. Along with new projects, the Bridgeport deal brings FuelCell close to its long-term goal of generating 60 megawatts, the company said in a statement.

The state's Green Bank, a quasi-public agency that arranges financing and provides loans for renewable energy projects, will participate in the deal. The Green Bank also helped finance the construction of the Bridgeport facility.

"This project is important to the Connecticut Green Bank as it uses a technology manufactured in our state which creates jobs, is located on a remediated brownfield in an industrial zone, is helping our largest city with economic development through private investment in green energy, and is reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change," said Bryan Garcia, CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. "The fuel cell park is one of the largest in the world bringing reliable and resilient power to our electric grid."

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