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FuelCell Energy Awarded $2.0 Million to Continue Development of High Pressure Hydrogen Compressor Technology

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

DANBURY, Conn., Sept. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a leading manufacturer of high efficiency ultra-clean power plants using renewable and other fuels for commercial, industrial, government, and utility customers, today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded approximately $2.0 million to FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) to further develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and reliable method for compressing hydrogen for storage under high pressure utilizing its solid-state Electrochemical Hydrogen Compressor (EHC) technology.

DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Program fosters the development and enhancement of technologies that will expand the market for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for both transportation and stationary power generation. Hydrogen is generally produced at a location different from where it is used, resulting in the need for transportation and storage. High compression storage is an important component for expanding the use of hydrogen, particularly for vehicle refueling.

Fuel cells generate clean electricity using an electrochemical process, without combustion. Byproducts of this electrical generation process include heat and hydrogen. Utilizing these byproducts allows the DFC® power plants to generate three revenue streams including: 1) clean electricity; 2) usable high quality heat; and, 3) hydrogen for vehicle refueling or industrial uses. Fuel cells provide reliable power around the clock and can be located at the point of use for the hydrogen. The electricity and heat can be used on-site or the electricity can be supplied to the electrical grid. The benefit of the EHC technology is the ability to compress the hydrogen produced by the fuel cell for on-site storage and use at a later time. Additionally, the EHC technology has no moving parts, which should enhance reliability while potentially decreasing costs as compared to traditional, multi-stage mechanical compressors.

FuelCell Energy successfully demonstrated a single stage EHC technology to compress hydrogen to 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi), and received an achievement award from the DOE in May 2009 for the accomplishment. Under this new contract, the Company will further enhance its existing EHC technology to compress greater quantities of hydrogen at 3,000 psi and also develop an EHC prototype within the next three years to compress hydrogen to 12,000 psi. The ability to efficiently and cost effectively compress large volumes of hydrogen to 3,000 psi targets industrial users that currently use multi-stage mechanical compressors and compression  to 12,000 psi targets hydrogen vehicle refueling. 

"Efficient and cost effective hydrogen compression is a key enabler for hydrogen-powered vehicle refueling or for using hydrogen as a fuel for power generation," said Christopher Bentley, Executive Vice President, Government R&D Operations, Strategic Manufacturing Development, FuelCell Energy, Inc. "Our existing fuel cell technology provides a unique and economically compelling approach to generating clean power, usable heat and hydrogen. Capturing and storing this excess hydrogen byproduct from the fuel cell potentially opens new markets for our fuel cell technology."

About FuelCell Energy

DFC® fuel cells are generating power at over 50 locations worldwide. The Company's power plants have generated over 600 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable wastewater gas, biogas from beer and food processing, as well as natural gas and other hydrocarbon fuels. FuelCell Energy has partnerships with major power plant developers and power companies around the world. The Company also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies for the development of leading edge technologies such as fuel cells. For more information please visit our website at

This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Company's ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Direct FuelCell, DFC, DFC/T, DFC-H2 and FuelCell Energy, Inc. are all registered trademarks of FuelCell Energy, Inc. DFC-ERG is a registered trademark jointly owned by Enbridge, Inc. and FuelCell Energy, Inc.

CONTACT: FuelCell Energy, Inc. Kurt Goddard, Vice President Investor Relations 203-830-7494