New Jersey Board Installs First Fuel Cell

January 03, 2003

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) helped arrange the state's first fuel cell installed under the BPU-sponsored initiative to use clean and renewable technologies. On October 29th, BPU President Jeanne M. Fox and NUI Elizabethtown Gas President Victor Fortkiewicz presented a rebate check for $710,000 to Merck & Company, Inc., in Rahway for the installation. Under the initiative, BPU standardizes utility-run renewable energy and energy efficiency programs across the state through its New Jersey Clean Energy Program.

In addition to the BPU rebate, Merck received $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense's alternative energy program. UTC Fuel Cells of South Windsor, Connecticut, provided the fuel cell, which is rated at 200 kW. It will provide electricity, backup power in case of outages, and heat to an adjacent building. One of the attractions to fuel cells for Merck is their reliability. Merck's Rayway facility runs computers 24 hours and seven days a week, requiring constant cooling and 99.999% reliability from the backup unit in case of a power outage. For details, see the UTC Fuel Cells press release.