DANBURY, Conn. - FuelCell Energy Inc. and Alliance Power have entered into an arrangement by which Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, Calif., is expected to purchase four 250-KW Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants in late 2005 or early 2006. Until that time, a joint venture of FuelCell Energy and Alliance Power will supply electric power and heat to the brewery's production processes. The power plants are expected to be delivered and operational in the first half of 2005.

Alliance Power is the turnkey provider to the project and FuelCell Energy will provide the DFC fuel cell power plants and operations and maintenance services. After Sierra Nevada purchases the units, FuelCell Energy will provide maintenance services under a long-term service agreement.

The DFC power plants will initially operate on natural gas. Sierra Nevada is exploring the possibility of supplementing the fuel supply with anaerobic digester gas.

"The heat and power derived from these fuel cell power plants will reduce our energy costs compared with what we were paying from the grid," said Ken Grossman, founder and owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "We could have saved even more by going with traditional, combustion-based natural gas generators, but we are willing to pay a premium for the environmental benefits delivered by the FuelCell Energy power plants."

"This transaction is evidence that customers are willing to pay a premium for clean and efficient power," said James Michael, president of Alliance Power. "The good news is that with state support from California, this still provides a more economical energy alternative for Sierra Nevada versus grid-delivered power."

Publication date: 06/14/2004