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250-kW molten carbonate fuel cell in a New York hotel. It overcame these
efforts mainly because the system represented only 10% of the hotel's total
power. These barriers have been described as a battle between distributed
generation and the local utility.
Distributed projects are not always given the proper credit for their
contributions in meeting power demand, reducing transmission loss-
es and improving environmental quality. The New York Power Author-
ity (NYPA) and MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit) are powering
an expanded subway and bus maintenance facility with a clean energy
200-kilowatt (kW) fuel cell. The stationary fuel cell produces electricity
through a virtually emission-free chemical reaction. The electrical power
is produced when oxygen and hydrogen are combined and the by-prod-
ucts are essentially heat and hot water. The unit will displace some 2,800
barrels of oil per year.
The fuel cell project with New York City Transit is the latest in en-
ergy-efficiency and technology programs undertaken in support of the na-
tion's largest public transit system. The New York Power Authority is the
nation's largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating plants in
various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission
lines. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations
through the sale of bonds and earns revenue from proceeds of its opera-
tions, which stems largely from the sale of electricity.
In 2005, the New York State Public Service Commission approved a
Renewable Portfolio Standard providing for increased use of renewable
energy sources, including fuel cells. This project in Queens will help to im-
plement the vision that 25 percent of the state's energy will come from re-
newable sources by 2013. The maintenance facility includes lay-up tracks,
circuit breaker houses, a signal relay room and a car washer to service the
7 Flushing line. The facility is the first major maintenance facility with
sustainable Green design. Integrated into the design are photovoltaic roof
cells, natural light and ventilation, motion detector light switches and a
storm water retention system to wash the subway car fleet.
Fueled by natural gas, the 200-kW fuel cell will be a continuous
source of power. The residual heat of almost 700,000 Btu per hour will be
used for the shop's domestic hot water system. In case of a power disrup-
tion, the fuel cell will automatically supply electricity to the building's
non-emergency lights. Combined with other sustainable green design ele-
ments, NYC Transit expects to use 36% less energy over the life of the new
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