Good news on the energy front. Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council has found a way to cut to energy bills and carbon emissions.
The technology, Fuel Cell Micro Combined Heat and Power, is well established, with many thousands of installations completed in Japan and Germany. But it is a lot less well known in the UK.
The first product to apply this technology in the UK and receive Feed In Tariff is called BlueGEN. BlueGEN generates electricity as efficiently as the best large modern gas-fired power station – but unlike a power station the heat that is generated can be used as well so providing the most efficient method of using gas to create usable energy.
Jon Arroyo, the Council’s Energy Manager said: “We installed our first BlueGEN in November 2013. The unit went into a 26 bed residential care home alongside a 15kW solar array. The BlueGEN provided a payback of under seven years. We have been delighted with the BlueGEN’s operation and have now installed a further ten units in other similar properties and a school, leisure centre, library and office. Seven of these installations have just been completed.”
The units were made by SOLIDpower and were supplied by UK BlueGEN distributor, iPower and installed by the local company Ecofit Energy Systems.
Guto Owen, of Ynni Glan, iPower representative in Wales, said “Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has been a fantastic customer for BlueGEN in its early stages. There is now a strong business case for BlueGEN and we are finding growing interest amongst local authorities and many others. Reliable and practical with no planning issues and no air pollution, fuel cells make a compelling case for generating clean, on-site energy.“
Mike McDonald, Commercial Manager at Ecofit Energy Systems said “As a local company we have been delighted to have supported the Council with installation of seven BlueGENs in recent weeks. We were working to a tight deadline and have shown BlueGEN to be a real, practical choice. We look forward to serving a growing market for BlueGENs in Wales and England.“
iPower’s Managing Director, Jon Cape, said, “Feed In Tariff has now been confirmed for two years to March 2019 and, along with grant available for the same period to support installation cost, BlueGEN can play a cost effective part in reducing both energy bills and carbon emissions”.