Energy Manager

Ballard completes factory testing of utility-scale PEM fuel cell-powered generator

Ballard Power Systems, a provider of clean energy fuel cell products, announced the successful completion, during second quarter, of factory testing of a utility-scale distributed generation system using the company's proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Installation and commissioning of the system for a multi-year demonstration at FirstEnergy Generation Corp's Eastlake Plant in Ohio is planned for third quarter of this year.


Ballard designed the generator to provide clean energy peaking capacity—which the company says is particularly useful during heavy energy demand periods in the summer months—and tested the generator to a power level of one megawatt. Because fuel cells use hydrogen to produce electricity, with heat and water as by-products, Ballard says this technology is a more environmentally friendly means of generating power than diesel or coal alternatives. In addition, the Ballard generator is transportable so it can be relocated to other sites on a seasonal basis.


“We are pleased to have passed this key customer milestone,” said Michael Goldstein, Ballard’s CCO. “Once commissioned, this will be an important first for us, meeting a key 2010 Ballard growth milestone and further demonstrating the benefits of fuel cell systems for clean distributed generation applications in the energy sector.”


Ballard believes that when the generator is commissioned and operating at the FirstEnergy Generation Corp. facility, it will be the largest PEM fuel cell generator deployed worldwide.


To learn more about Ballard, visit

July 28, 2010  By  John Gilson

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