New York Power Authority and State Police to Use Fuel Cells in Communications Facilities

January 08, 2007

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced in late December that it will work with the state police to deploy fuel cells that will provide backup power at 22 public safety communications facilities. The program will cost $434,000 and is one of more than a dozen fuel cell projects the authority has undertaken to demonstrate the advantages of distributed power.

The program, called Fuel Cells for Emergency Communications, will keep state communications online when they are needed the most, during power outages and other emergency situations.

The state police will coordinate the program with assistance from NYPA, which has already installed fuel cells at locations throughout the state, including the New York Police Department Central Park station in Manhattan. During the August 2003 blackout, that fuel cell kept the police station running. Among the sites to be served by the new program is a New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) communications tower in Albion, which was disabled during an October 2006 snow emergency.

The fuel cells to be installed will be produced by Plug Power of Latham. The GenCoreĀ® fuel cell systems deliver up to 5 kilowatts of backup power with zero emissions.

Other facilities scheduled to have fuel cell backup power systems are located in Albany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chenango, Clinton, Onondaga, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Steuben, and Washington counties. Funding will be provided from Petroleum Overcharge Restitution funds, which are proceeds of court settlements relating to oil company violations of federal price controls in the 1970s and 1980s.

For more information, see the December 28 NYPA press release.

Source: January 5 article in Renewable Energy Access