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Sonoma County plans $9.8m fuel cell public buildings power plant
Fuel Cells, Dec 30 2008 (The Hydrogen Journal)
- Sonoma County, California, is planning to spend $9.8m on a fuel cell power plant in government buildings, according to a report in local paper the Press Democrat.
The County decided on the plan after learning about the greenhouse gas emissions from its government buildings - as a way to keep to a target agreed in 2006 to reduce emissions to 20 per cent below 2000 levels by 2015.
The plant would generate hydrogen from natural gas, and use it to create electricity and heat in a fuel cell.
The County will also replace fluorescent lamps in 20 buildings, replace heating and cooling equipment in 4 buildings and install water flush controls in its jails. The whole scheme will cost $22.3m.
It is being funded by $3.5m in rebates from the Pacific Gas and Electricity Company, and $18.7m in loan financing, with repayments offset against anticipated reductions in energy and water costs.
The County expects to save $80.6m in energy costs over the 25 year life span of the equipment - with a reduction in electricity usage of 13m Kwh.
Following the installation of the plant, the county administration center will be disconnected from the electrical power grid for normal operations (although it could be reconnected in an emergency).
A similar fuel cell plant is used by the City of Santa Barbara, Turlock Irrigation District, Cache Creek Casino and Sirerra Nevada Brewing Company, the Press Democrat says.