Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced today that it has signed an agreement with PPL EnergyPlus to install a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell power plant at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, the global giant’s flagship hotel. The newly renovated 1,750-room Sheraton New York will become the first hotel in New York City to adopt fuel cell technology applications. Delivery for the hotel unit is scheduled for this summer followed by a dedication of the DFC power plant shortly thereafter.
“This is Starwood’s third application of fuel cell technology, and our most significant to date with the power plant being installed at the Sheraton brand’s largest and most prestigious hotel,” said John Lembo, Director of Energy for Starwood. “We are thrilled to be working again with FCE and PPL who have installed similar units at our suburban New Jersey properties and respect their dedication and commitment to such a monumental project. Fuel cells are a clean and efficient source of energy and we believe that fuel cell technology will play an important role in reducing harmful emissions as well as the hotel’s overall energy costs.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has committed to awarding $920,000 toward the project. This was one of the finalists selected for funding in 2002 under NYSERDA’s combined heat and power program. The winners were selected after a rigorous evaluation to determine the likelihood of success as well as the economical and environmental benefits associated with the proposed projects.
The fuel cell power plant is expected to provide about 10 percent of the power and domestic hot water needs of the hotel. Starwood’s upscale Sheraton brand has taken the lead in adopting fuel cell energy applications with DFC power plants installed last year by FCE at two New Jersey suburban properties - the Sheraton Edison Hotel and the Sheraton Parsippany.
This project will benefit from the recently enacted stand-by exemption provision in New York State. Effective February 1, 2004, Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc; Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc.; New York State Electric and Gas Corporation; and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation exempted DFC power plants from stand-by charges if the installation represents less than 15 percent of the customer’s maximum potential demand.
The hotel industry is an excellent commercial application of FuelCell Energy’s DFC power plants with their stable base load heat and power demand profile. PPL owns and operates DFC300A power plants at two other Starwood properties, the Sheraton Edison and the Sheraton Parsippany hotels in New Jersey. In a 2000 study by the Energy Information Administration and Department of Energy, the estimated market potential for combined heat and power applications for hotels and motels in the United States is approximately 6,500 megawatts.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has been the recipient of the ENERGY STAR Partner(R) of the Year Award for 2002 and 2003, and the hotel giant will continue to adopt and implement environmentally safe and friendly practices that save energy and protect the environment.