Starwood announced today that Allentown, Pa.-based PPL Corporation has completed the installation of a clean, reliable, high temperature 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell (DFC(R)) power plant at the 1,750-room Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton’s largest and flagship property, in midtown Manhattan. This is the third DFC power plant to complete the installation in a Sheraton hotel, and similar to theother two plants located at properties in New Jersey - the Sheraton Edison Hotel and the Sheraton Parsippany.
These fuel cell projects are part of a master agreement that PPL and Starwood signed that could eventually lead to PPL installing DFC power plants at other hotels. Sheraton, Starwood’s upscale brand, has taken the lead in adopting fuel cell energy applications in the metropolitan area with DFC power plants manufactured by FCE and installed by PPL. This comes as part of an agreement that Starwood signed last year with Danbury, Conn.-based FuelCell Energy Inc.‘s distribution partner, PPL, to install the hotel’s direct fuel cell power plant.
The DFC power plant, will provide roughly 10 percent of the hotel’s electricity and hot water and will be able to supply back-up electricity for a segment of the hotel. PPL will own, operate and maintain the DFC power plant.
A fourth DFC power plant was recently announced in January for the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in California.
“The successful completion of our third fuel cell power plant in as many years is a testament to Starwood’s commitment to environmental stewardship and energy efficiency,” said John Lembo, Director of Energy for Starwood. “We believe that embracing technologies such as fuel cell applications will reduce harmful emissions and provide our guests with more reliable power. Starwood has been a two-time recipient of the ENERGY STAR Partner(R) of the Year Award, and will continue to adopt and implement environmentally safe and friendly practices that save energy and protect the environment.”
Fuel cells generate electricity with no combustion. They are, in effect, like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as a fuel source, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the gas is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels. Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and wastewater treatment gas, FCE power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure.
FuelCell Energy manufactured the hotel’s fuel cell power plant, which uses natural gas that will be supplied by Consolidated Edison. Trystate Mechanical Inc., a PPL mechanical contracting subsidiary based in Yonkers, N.Y., was responsible for its installation.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $920,000 toward this project.