Governor Malloy has signed a bill into law that allows electric distribution companies to add power from fuel cells to their sources of renewable energy.
The measure was raised after the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection didn't award any bids for long term clean energy contracts to fuel cell companies. New long-term utility contracts will be put out to bid under the new law, with different selection criteria. It excludes solar projects, opening the door to fuel cell and other alternate energy projects.
Danbury-based FuelCell Energy officials say the new bidding process could revive a 63-megawatt fuel cell park proposed in Beacon Falls. The company announced at the end of last year that it was laying off 17-percent of their workers because of lower demand for fuel cells.
The Hartford Business Journal reports that greater weight will be given to projects that improve distribution system reliability; fuel cells are considered a steadier source of power than many other renewables like wind, which depends on weather conditions to produce energy.