EAST ROCHESTER, NY-UTC Power, announced on June 27th that its PureCell Model 200 fuel cell system at East Rochester elementary school is helping that school district improve its reliability while significantly paring its energy bill. The fuel cell, commissioned in February, generated half of the schools’ electricity when classes were in session and energy use was high. The fuel cell is expected to meet two-thirds of district power needs when classes aren’t in session this summer. The unit has run for about 3,500 hours and generated more than 600 megawatt hours of electricity. The fuel cell also generates a large amount of clean waste heat, which is used for domestic hot water and for pre-heating boiler water, thus minimizing the use of natural gas for this purpose. The district expects the annual energy savings to approach $100,000.

Jan van Dokkum, UTC Power president, said, “This UTC Power PureCell system offers the community enhanced energy security. The school district can be a safe haven for residents when weather-related or other events cause grid failure.” The East Rochester School District fuel cell was made possible with the help of an $833,000 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant.