Oct 15, 2003
A PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) subsidiary has completed the installation of a clean, reliable Direct FuelCell® power plant for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT), one of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies.
At a dedication ceremony today at the hotel, PPL's distributed generation and energy services subsidiary said it has completed the development of a 250-kilowatt fuel cell power plant at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel in Parsippany, N.J.
The Direct Fuel Cell (DFC®) power plant, similar to the one installed at the Sheraton Edison in Edison, N.J., provides about 25 percent of the hotel's electricity and hot water. PPL will own, operate and maintain the DFC power plant.
The hotel projects in both Parsippany and Edison are part of a master agreement that PPL and Starwood signed that could eventually lead to PPL installing DFC power plants at other Starwood properties.
FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL) of Danbury, Conn., manufactured the hotel's fuel cell power plant, which uses natural gas that will be supplied by New Jersey Natural Gas. H.T. Lyons, a PPL mechanical contracting subsidiary based in Allentown, Pa., was responsible for its installation.
The New Jersey Clean Energy Program and the state of New Jersey have taken a leadership position by providing funding to encourage the use of clean and efficient energy technologies, including the fuel cells installed in Parsippany and Edison.
"PPL is proud to supply Starwood with an efficient, reliable on-site DFC power plant," said Michael E. Kroboth, president of PPL Energy Services Holdings. "Today's ceremony in Parsippany marks PPL's fourth customer installation of DFC power plants in the past six months."
PPL also has installed a fuel cell at the Coast Guard Station in Cape Cod, Mass., and has installed two fuel cells at the Zoot Enterprises business park in Bozeman, Mont.
"Until recently, fuel cell energy technology was not available commercially, and its practical use was very limited," Kroboth added. "However, fuel cells are now part of a growing range of environmentally friendly energy solutions that PPL is providing to our customers."
Fuel cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as a source of hydrogen, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the gas is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels. Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and wastewater treatment gas, FuelCell Energy power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure.
"We are pleased to see that our first hotel application of fuel cell system technology has been brought to successful closure with the installation of both the Sheraton Parsippany and Sheraton Edison energy fuel cell units," said David King, vice president-Staff Operations, North America, for Starwood. "It has been a rewarding experience working with both PPL and FCE on this important initiative, and we look forward to working with them again on future energy fuel cell projects."
"We are delighted to be working with PPL and Starwood, leaders in their commitment to implementing innovative and reliable energy solutions," said Herbert T. Nock, senior vice president of marketing and sales for FuelCell Energy, Inc. "Recent global blackouts revealed the vulnerability of constrained electric grid infrastructures and this dedication demonstrates that our DFC power plants are clean, efficient distributed generation solutions that are commercially ready today."
Demonstrating its commitment to balance the need for affordable power with environmental concerns, PPL has other fuel cell and renewable energy projects in various stages of development with a variety of customers:
-- Ocean County College in Toms River, N.J., will install a 250-kilowatt fuel cell later this year to provide heat and electricity to several buildings on the campus. -- PPL has received grant approval from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a fuel cell project at Starwood's Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in midtown Manhattan, the flagship of the Sheraton brand. -- PPL will be installing and operating a landfill gas-to-electricity plant at a landfill in southern New Jersey. -- PPL has received grant approval for a large photovoltaic project in southern New Jersey.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.
FuelCell Energy Inc. (www.fuelcellenergy.com), is a world-recognized leader for the development and commercialization of high-efficiency fuel cells for electric power generation. The company is developing Direct FuelCell® technology for stationary power plants with the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, whose advanced fuel cell research program is focused on developing a new generation of high-performance fuel cells that can generate clean electricity at power stations or in distributed locations near the customer, including hospitals, schools, universities and other commercial and industrial applications.
PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls about 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
SOURCE: PPL Corporation
CONTACT: Jim Santanasto, +1-610-774-5997 or Steve Gabrielle,
+1-610-774-7095, Fax: +1-610-774-5281, both of PPL Corporation
Web site: http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/
Web site: http://www.pplweb.com/