COMMENTS FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
We are very encouraged by the interest generated in the recent efforts of the CaSFCC. The recent appointment of Dr. Alan Lloyd to Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency places Dr. Lloyd, Co-Chair of the CaSFCC, in more prominent position with the Schwarzenegger Administration. This appointment along with the appointment of Terry Tamminen to the Governor’s Cabinet Secretary lends support to the efforts in California towards hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Terry and Alan were quoted in a letter of introduction to the California Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Guide (2004), that fuel cell manufacturers, government agencies, fuel suppliers, and utilities must work together to support pilot and demonstration projects. They went on to say “smart public policy in the form of incentives, mandates, and regulations should be developed to spur continued progress. And finally, public private partnerships need to be formed and maintained to help ensure that critical lines of communication and cooperation remain amongst all parties.”
To help fulfill this vision and advance the deployment and commercialization of stationary fuel cell technologies, the California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative (CaSFCC) recently completed a “Roadmap to an Updated Strategic Plan” (Roadmap). That Roadmap was mailed to industry members and endorsed by stakeholders at a CaSFCC meeting held on February 3. Many organizations participated in its development and offered excellent suggestions and comments. The document was truly a group effort!
The Roadmap outlines eight tasks that will be refined in coming months in order to identify and solve technical barriers, conduct strategic demonstrations, support the California Hydrogen Highway, and conduct needed outreach. Task 1, Formalize the Collaborative Structure, was outlined and sent to the CaSFCC stakeholders on March 8, 2005. The structure provides the opportunity and procedure for industry to become part of the Industry Advisory Panel.
Developing the tasks will enable the Collaborative to advance its mission and goals. The Strategic Plan will lead to cross-linkages of Collaborative activity with other fuel cell and renewable technology initiatives at the State, Federal, and regional levels. Combined with the effort of the CaSFCC, these initiatives will be the foundation from which future regulations and policies can be framed so as to accelerate the benefits to California. Once the tasks are developed, the Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) and the Core Group will prioritize the measurable outcomes within and among the tasks as well as verify the budget to implement each of the eight tasks. Once this process is completed, the tasks will become part of the CaSFCC Strategic Plan.
The Executive Order (EO) signed by the Governor on April 20th specifically identifies the engagement of the Collaborative in the plan of the Governor. The EO requires a report be developed by the end of the year to address the feasibility of a “hydrogen highway” and associated fuel cell development and other associated activities over the next five years and beyond. Further, the EO specifically names the Collaborative as a key part of the effort. The initial activity of the Collaborative will be to provide an objective overview to the groups in providing guidance to the process regarding stationary fuel cells. The most notable role would relate to the development of energy stations where stationary fuel cells will be part of the infrastructure. An advisory panel to Secretary Terry Tamminen of Cal/EPA will review the report. The panel consists of Co-Chair Dr. Samuelsen representing the Collaborative and Co-Chair Dr. Lloyd representing the Air Resources Board. The process includes the establishment of “topic teams” that will address specific topics and issues associated with this effort. Efforts of the topic teams will be forwarded to the advisory panel and on to Cal/EPA and the Governors office. Topic teams include Blueprint and Timeline, Public Education, Societal Benefit, Implementation and Economy. Collaborative members are participating on each of the topic teams and will meet periodically to assure that the Collaborative interests are covered by the topic team. More information can be obtained at www.hydrogenhighway.ca.gov.
NEW CALIFORNIA INSTALLATIONS
City of Santa Barbara Dedicates New Fuel Cell Power Plant
FuelCell Energy, Alliance Power and the City of Santa Barbara dedicated the installation of two Direct Fuel Cells (DFCs) fuel cells on February 23, 2005 at the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Facility in Santa Barbara. The two units generate 500 kilowatts of renewable power. The DFC power plants are now providing electricity and heat for the facility’s wastewater treatment system and are reducing harmful emissions by operating on the methane gas generated from the anaerobic gas digestion process. Marty Blum, Mayor of the City of Santa Barbara was quoted at the dedication that “This fuel cell project at the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Facility has a two-fold positive impact for us-it reduces our energy costs while continuing our commitment to environmental leadership”.
Executive Director, Ron Friesen said “we are very supportive and excited about this project as it demonstrates that stationary fuel cells can effectively convert renewable fuels such as wastewater treatment gas from this facility into clean, efficient energy.” Stephen Torres added that “This project, our eighth digester gas application, is evidence that wastewater treatment facilities are a repeatable business for our ‘ultra-clean’ DFC power plants.” Mr. Torres went on to say that “This also demonstrates the role that strong government incentive programs such as the Self Generation Incentive Program in California can play in bring renewable energy sources to the commercial marketplace with tangible ratepayer and environmental benefits.”