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American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced last week the installation of a new fuel cell system on its Torrance, Calif. campus.
The fuel cell will produce one megawatt of energy, and significantly reduce CO2 emissions from Honda’s operations in the region.
“A stationary fuel cell system is a natural next step in our ongoing efforts to further reduce American Honda’s environmental impact” said Garth Sellers, Honda’s manager of North American corporate facilities “Honda already produces a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle – the FCX Clarity – so we know this type of technology is an effective means of reducing our carbon footprint.”
The fuel cell system consists of five energy servers each producing 200 kilowatts of power, and will provide 25 percent of Honda’s electricity needs for its 1.13 million square feet of office space, research, design and development operations, and parts distribution center on the 101 acre campus.
The power generated by the fuel cell system would power approximately 750 average-sized homes each day.
For each megawatt-hour of power the fuel cell system generates, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 18 to 25 percent. Over a project life of ten years, the system will reduce Honda’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 16 million pounds.
Fuel cells convert fuels – in this case, natural gas – into electricity through an electrochemical process that is much more efficient than combustion, thereby reducing CO2 emissions of fossil fuels.
Honda said that, additionally, fuel cell technology delivers extraordinary water savings as it requires no water beyond an injection of 240 gallons at start-up. Compared to the average water demands of California power plants, it is estimated that Honda will save more than 3.25 million gallons of equivalent water used per year.
Over the past decade, American Honda said it has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce the company’s carbon footprint at its Torrance campus, including the installation of high efficiency cooling systems and a recent lighting retrofit that cut the facility’s CO2 emissions by nearly 750,000 pounds per year.
American Honda contracted with Bloom Energy and its partner, Core States Group, to design, develop and implement this project. Bloom Energy will provide all monitoring and maintenance for the fuel cells.