FuelCell Energy has announced the execution of a digester gas purchase agreement and site lease with City of Tulare in the US state of California.

The quantity of renewable biogas contracted is sufficient to support a 2.8 megawatt SureSource 3000TM fuel cell power plant. The digester gas agreement enables FuelCell Energy to proceed under the State of California Bioenergy Market Adjustment Tariff (BioMAT) program to execute a twenty year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the electric utility SCE to purchase the renewable and carbon neutral power for supply to the California electric grid.

“This project will have a very positive impact for the City of Tulare, as we are selling our waste biogas, generating a new source of revenue for the City, and supporting emission-free power generation so our citizens have clean air to breathe,” said Joe Carlini, City Manager, City of Tulare. “This project perfectly highlights how sustainability pays.”

“We offer an innovative solution to affordably provide renewable power at a scale that is meaningful to utilities,” said Chip Bottone, Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy. “This application of renewable power and heat generation will result in a negative carbon footprint to help the utility offset emissions from their other forms of power generation.”

FuelCell Energy will install, operate and maintain a fuel cell power plant operating on the City’s biogas, to be located at the City of Tulare waste water treatment facility. The biogas will be treated by FuelCell Energy utilizing the SureSource TreatmentTM biogas conditioning system, and then supplied to the fuel cell power plant.

The City of Tulare operates a state-of-the art waste water treatment facility that primarily treats effluent from a number of large milk processing facilities. Anaerobic digesters are used to break down the organic waste and prevent harmful methane emissions as opposed to some waste water treatment processors that utilize open pools allowing for the escape of methane emissions. FuelCell Energy is currently installing a previously announced SureSource 3000 fuel cell power plant to power the waste water processes and supply heat to the Facility’s anaerobic digesters.

Over the past decade California’s San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions globally, has been in severe non-attainment under the Federal Clean Air Act.  In recent years, a commitment to emissions reduction has improved the air quality. FuelCell Energy’s SureSource power plants, which convert fuel to power electrochemically rather than through combustion, emit virtually no criteria air pollutants and are exempt from air permitting.