The 500-unit apartment community on Roosevelt Island will be the first residential building in the State of New York to be powered and heated by the fuel cell technology.

The fuel cell, a PureCell System Model 400, is a combined heat and power (CHP) system converts natural gas to electricity and heat through a combustion-free, electrochemical process to power and heat the apartment building.

The fuel cell’s process will reduce the carbon emissions of the site by 790 metric tons annually.

UTC Power director of stationary fuel cell business Neal Montany said the Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) and Becker + Becker have selected UTC Power’s PureCell System to provide reliable on-site power.

"It is truly rewarding to know that the benefits of our efficient and clean fuel cell technology will touch the daily lives of the residents of The Octagon." said Montany.

The project received $1.2m in financial incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and also secured funds from a Union Pension fund MEPT.

Additionally, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the project will qualify for a federal refundable tax credit to cover approximately 30% of the installation cost, which can be recovered within the next five years.