New Power Plant Runs On Milk-Processing Waste

California wastewater treatment plant will use renewable fuel from dairy-processing waste to generate electricity.

FuelCell Energy, Inc., a manufacturer of efficient electric power plants for commercial and industrial customers, announced Oct. 25 it will supply an ultra-clean power plant that will run on a renewable supply of fuel from dairy-processing waste, generating electricity to run a municipal wastewater treatment plant serving California's San Joaquin Valley region.

The city of Tulare chose Danbury, Conn.-based FuelCell Energy's Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plant for its water treatment plant. Because DFC power plants generate electricity without combustion, they dramatically reduce harmful emissions of gas and particulates while generating reliable power right where it is needed.

The 750-kilowatt (kW) power plant, consisting of three DFC units, will be installed in spring 2007 to provide electricity for the wastewater treatment plant. In addition, surplus heat generated from its operation will be used in generating the gas to be used as fuel, thereby substantially boosting the facility's overall energy efficiency.

The Tulare facility will not have to purchase $600,000 Emission Reduction Credits it would have if the plant used traditional on-site power equipment instead of using the DFC power plant.

"Not only do DFC power plants provide 24/7 electricity for wastewater treatment, they enable citizens of Tulare to breathe easier by turning a waste product into a source of environmentally friendly energy," said William Karambelas, of FuelCell Energy.

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