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FuelCell Energy completes world's largest fuel cell park in South Korea

FuelCell Energy said Wednesday it has completed work on the world’s largest fuel cell park in South Korea.

The company, which built a smaller project in Bridgeport, completed the Gyeonggi Green Energy fuel cell park in just over a year.

The 59-megawatt facility in Hwasung City sits on 5 acres and provides baseload electricity to the South Korean electric grid as well as heat to a local heating system.

“The scale of this installation is contributing to the power and heating needs of an urban population and generating the electricity in a highly efficient and ultra-low emission profile that supports our National renewable portfolio standard,” Tae-Ho Lee, the chief executive of Gyeonggi Green Energy, said in a written statement.

FuelCell Energy is headquartered in Danbury and has its manufacturing plant in Torrington.

Its business in Asia has been supported by a government effort to have 10 per cent of its energy, or 7,000 megawatts, be from new or renewable energy sources by 2022. Without large spaces for wind or solar facilities, fuel cells have become a centerpiece in the government’s effort.

The fuel cells run on natural gas, converting it to hydrogen, which is electrochemically made into heat, water and electricity, with only trace amounts of emissions, the company says. The heat and water, as steam, can turn a turbine that creates additional power or can be used for heating.

The company also announced the sale of a number of fuel cells to its South Korean partner, POSCO Energy, and the groundbreaking of a large fuel cell park in Seoul City, which will be operational by the end of the year.

FuelCell Energy said the Gyeonggi plan became operational in late December — about the same time the company completed the world’s second-largest fuel cell park, in Bridgeport. That 15-megawatt system is sending enough electricity to power about 15,000 homes.

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