WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—April 17, 2002—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) is pleased to announce today that an agreement has been signed with Allentown, PA.-based PPL Corporation (PPL) to install, own and operate a 250-kilowatt fuel cell system at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel and another at the Sheraton Edison Hotel Raritan Center.
Groundbreaking for both projects is slated for this summer, with installation scheduled for completion by the end of this year. The two Sheraton projects are part of a master agreement Starwood and PPL signed that would offer PPL the possibility of installing fuel cells at other Starwood locations throughout the United States. Plans are also in the works for three fuel cells at Starwood locations in New York and Connecticut.
Through a marketing agreement with Danbury, Ct.-based FuelCell Energy, Inc., (FCE), PPL has agreed to install, own, operate and maintain fuel cell units at both of the above-referenced properties. Starwood will become the first hotel company to install an FCE power plant.
Fuel cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as fuel, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the fuel is not burned, pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels is dramatically reduced. The technology is similar to that which helps power NASA`s space shuttle.
The New Jersey Clean Energy Program will provide approximately $1.7 million in funding to PPL as part of its incentive program to encourage the use of clean and efficient energy technology. State utilities New Jersey Natural Gas Company will provide natural gas for the Parsippany fuel cell, while NUI Elizabethtown Gas will provide natural gas for the Edison fuel cell.
By utilizing fuel cell energy, each hotel will reduce its overall energy costs, improve efficiency and help conserve natural resources. Fuel cells are also an environmentally-friendly source of energy technology.
Starwood was recently awarded the ENERGY STAR(R) Partner of the Year 2002 Award by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its leadership and outstanding commitment to pollution prevention through continuous improvement of energy performance throughout its corporation.
“We are very excited that Starwood has teamed up with PPL and will be in the vanguard of energy fuel cell technology,” remarked Ted Darnall, President, North America Hotel Operations, Starwood. “Having recently been the recipient of the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year 2002 Award, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will continue to adopt and implement environmentally safe and friendly practices that save energy and protect the environment. We feel that energy fuel cell technology will play an important role in reducing harmful emissions and reduce the hotels` overall energy costs.”
Based on annual usage, each 250-kilowatt fuel cell reduces the following levels of air pollutants: 1.179 million pounds of carbon dioxide - 11,019 pounds of nitrogen oxide, and - 25,573 pounds of sulphur dioxide
The avoidance of these levels of pollution is equivalent to any one of the following: Eliminating 118 cars from the road - Planting 161 acres of trees - Eliminating the power consumption of 200 homes
In celebration of Earth Day, and to coincide with the contract signing, an educational activity fair designed for eighth-grade middle-school students from the Parsippany/Troy Hills school district is taking place today at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel. The fair will help educate the eighth-graders to the benefits of energy fuel cell technology. About PPL Corporation
PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), headquartered in Allentown, Pa., controls or owns more than 10,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, markets energy in key U.S. regions, and delivers electricity to nearly 6 million customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America. For more information, please visit PPL`s media website at www.pplnewsroom.com. About FuelCell Energy, Inc.
FuelCell Energy, Inc. (www.fuelcellenergy.com) Danbury, CT , (NasdaqNM:FCEL) is a world-recognized leader for development and commercialization of high efficiency fuel cells for electric power generation. The Company is developing Direct FuelCell(R) technology for stationary power plants with the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, whose advanced fuel cell research program is focused on developing a new generation of high performance fuel cells that can generate clean electricity at power stations or in distributed locations near the customer, including hospitals, schools, universities and other commercial and industrial applications. About New Jersey Natural Gas Company
New Jersey Natural Gas Company (NJNG) is the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources Corporation (NYSE: NJR) and is one of the fastest-growing local distribution companies in the United States. Since 1952, natural gas customers in central and northern New Jersey have relied on NJNG to keep them warm and ensure they have the energy they need to run their homes and businesses. NJNG provides energy services to more than 425,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in New Jersey`s Monmouth and Ocean counties and parts of Morris and Middlesex counties and maintains a nearly 6,000-mile underground pipeline system. The Company has added nearly 12,000 new customers for the past seven consecutive years, representing 2 billion cubic feet of new firm throughput annually. NJNG is also a leader in the off-system sales and capacity release markets. More information about NJNG can be found at their Web site at www.njliving.com. About NUI Elizabethtown Gas
NUI Elizabethtown Gas is a natural gas distribution company serving more than 250,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of Union, Middlesex, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Morris and Mercer counties. It is a division of NUI Corporation (NYSE: NUI), based in Bedminster, NJ, which provides energy, telecommunications, consulting and sales outsourcing services nationwide. For more information, visit www.nui.com Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com. Please contact Starwood`s new, toll-free media hotline at (866) 4-STAR-PR (866-478-2777) for photography or additional information. JOURNALISTS - PLEASE NOTE: JOIN STARWOOD`S PRESS RELEASE ALERT SERVICE TO RECEIVE STARWOOD COMPANY NEWS AND INFORMATION To become a member, simply access the Starwood website, at www.starwood.com. Once you reach the home page, simply click on “Company News”, enter your e-mail address, and click “Subscribe”.