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Connecticut Goes 'State-of-the-Art' with Fuel Cells at Transit Facilities
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November 29, 2012

Connecticut Goes 'State-of-the-Art' with Fuel Cells at Transit Facilities

By Cheryl Kaften
TMCnet Contributor

This week, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy joined officials from the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and CTTRANSIT to dedicate a $5.2 million project that is providing clean and reliable power to the Hartford bus maintenance and storage facility through the installation of a 400-kilowatt (kW) stationary fuel cell.

The Governor also announced a $5.7 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant for the planning, purchase and installation of similar technology at the New Haven bus maintenance and storage facility. 

Above, Connecticut Gov. Dannell P. Malloy

“This transition to clean power at the Hartford transit facility will save taxpayers more than a half million dollars in annual utility costs, as well as removing harmful pollutants from our air,” said Governor Malloy.   “Cleaner, cheaper, more reliable energy is very clearly the future of power, and Connecticut is uniquely positioned to be a world leader in fuel cell technology. Promoting lower energy costs, cleaner air, and statewide economic growth is right in line with our overall energy strategy and directly benefits Connecticut’s renewable energy sector. We are appreciative of the nearly $11 million dollars the Federal Transit Administration has invested in these clean, green projects.”

The fuel cell, manufactured by United Technologies Company (UTC)  Power of  South Windsor, Connecticut, was installed in August and provides 400 kilowatts (kW) to the 333,000-square-foot Hartford facility—77 percent of the building’s power. In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 827 metric tons and cut nitrogen oxide emissions to the equivalent of removing more than 100 cars from the road, the system also will save nearly 3.6 million gallons of water each year.

“Fuel cells are energy-efficient, cleaner and, most importantly, American. That's why I believe that fuel cell technology needs to become a major part of our ‘all of the above’ strategy for energy independence,” said Congressman John Larson (D-1st District). “I'm committed to helping ensure that the federal government recognizes the potential of fuel cells that we in Connecticut have known for years. We applaud both UTC and the State of Connecticut on today’s important partnership.”

The project was funded by a grant from the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program through the U.S. Federal Transit Administration. The 400 kilowatt fuel cell for the New Haven project will also be funded by a $5.7 million TIGGER grant. Managed by FTA's Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation in coordination with the Office of Program Management and FTA Regional Offices, the TIGGER Program works directly with public transportation agencies to implement new strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or reduce energy use within transit operations.

“The DOT is extremely proud of our continuing efforts to go green,” said Transportation Commissioner James Redeker. “We have been recognized nationally in our efforts to cut emissions. The use of stationary fuel cell technology is another step to help secure our place as one of the industry’s leaders in green technology in public transportation.” 

"We are excited that this fuel cell technology is providing local power generation in an environmentally positive way,” said CTTRANSIT General Manager David Lee (News - Alert). “Our proven collaboration with UTC Power, demonstrated in the operation of five fuel cell transit buses, leaves us confident that this investment in fuel cell use will pay off, all the while supporting technology development and jobs in Connecticut."

CTTRANSIT operates a fleet of three zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses powered by Connecticut-made UTC Power fuel cells.   The state is a leader in zero-emission technology that will help make fuel cell power commercially viable for the transit industry nationwide.

The Governor released the state’s comprehensive energy strategy in early October.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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