Verizon Using Fuel Cells To Offset Energy Consumption

Verizon Using Fuel Cells To Offset Energy Consumption

ByGroovy Green Aug 8, 2006

They most likely control your cell phone, have used the talents of Darth Vader to promote their image, and now are harnessing the power of fuel cells to control their destiny. Yes, I’m speaking of Verizon Communications–who recently completed their first year of using Fuel Cell technology at their Garden City facility on Long Island. From the article,

“Verizon’s Garden City project is unique because it uses fuel cells as its primary source of energy. Seven fuel cells generate power for a 292,000-square-foot facility that provides telephone and data services to some 35,000 customers on Long Island. And it’s connected to the commercial power grid as backup. This is a complete paradigm shift for a company that traditionally uses diesel-fueled generators as backups to the commercial grid.”

The project cost about $13 million to implement–small change compared to the roughly $600 million it spends on electricity purchases in one year. The benefits, however, have not come from the savings alone–about $680,000–but also from a sense of independence,

“We saw what was happening in 2000 and 2001 with California’s energy crisis,” he said, “and we knew it was only a matter of time before we’d start seeing power grid issues in the Northeast.” When the blackout happened in 2003, we knew we were on the right track.”

Interesting. Although a fuel cell is still dependent on a fossil fuel–natural gas–to make the technology work. Scientists are hoping that advances in deriving hydrogen from water splitting will give way to cheap sources of energy.