Pepperidge Farm Incorporated dedicated it’s new 1.2 megawatt (MW) DFC1500B fuel cell power plant it installed at its bakery facility in Bloomfield, Conn. Manufactured by FuelCell Energy Inc., the fuel cell is now the biggest power source for this 260,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, and represents the largest single commercial fuel cell power plant in the United States.
This fuel cell initiative is supported in part by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a ratepayer fund administered by Connecticut Innovations Inc., which provided a grant of $3.5 million to Pepperidge Farm to offset part of the construction costs last year. This is the second fuel cell power plant installation at the Pepperidge Farm Bloomfield plant, which opened in 2003. A smaller, FuelCell Energy 250-kilowatt fuel cell was commissioned for the site in January 2006, also with assistance from CCEF.
On its own, the new fuel cell supplies about 57 percent of the total electrical needs for the bakery. Combined with the smaller fuel cell, this installation fulfills 70 percent of the plant's electricity needs with clean power. Both fuel cells operate 24/7 and greatly improve the reliability of electricity at the site - a key issue for a plant that operates three shifts, six days a week. Additionally, excess heat from the new fuel cell is being used to support bakery processes, which helps reduce fuel needs for plant boilers.
Larson note: This is the kind of innovation and thought that is needed to make businesses, all businesses, no matter where in the world you are, stronger and non-dependent on petro energy sources. If an entire bakery plant can do it, why not you? Not only will they get greener, makes a smaller carbon footprint but they will save money and secure the energy needs of the plant (company). This is an area each of us as business people must be looking at, and if at all possible finds ways to take your business “of grid” or at the least lest depending on energy utilities that are being hard pressed to keep up with demand.
Larson & Associates
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