Bloom Energy Targets New York, Northeast Homes in Fuel-Cell Push

Bloom Energy Corp. is making a push to bring its fuel-cell technology typically sold to big companies into households and businesses across the U.S. Northeast, starting with New York.

Bloom has started deploying its fuel cells into communities in the region after signing contracts with developers that totaled more than 40 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power 30,000 typical homes. Its first project, a 7.5-megawatt installation on New York’s Staten Island, has already been deployed.

Fuel cells have slowly gained acceptance in recent years, as companies look for ways to lower emissions and lessen their reliance on the electrical grid. Bloom’s latest push is moving beyond its usual corporate clients, using a new community-based approach to bring fuel cells to neighborhoods. Some solar firms have used similar tactics for years, allowing multiple property owners to draw electricity from a single installation.

“This was a framework where we could touch end users such as residential and small commercial customers, who otherwise would be too small to take advantage of our technology,” Ivor Castelino, Bloom’s managing director of business development, said in an interview. “Our mission has always been to provide the benefits of our technology to everyone, and we saw an opportunity to start doing this.”

Bloom Energy Targets New York, Northeast Homes in Fuel-Cell Push

Customers who sign up will get electricity that’s cleaner and cheaper than what utilities typically provide, according to the San Jose, California-based company. The devices also keep generating during blackouts on the grid, a key selling point.

The fuel cells use an electrochemical reaction rather than combustion to generate electricity and, when running on natural gas, produce fewer pollutants and greenhouse gases than most power-generating technologies. When running on hydrogen, they can generate electricity emissions-free.

Bloom’s development partners will be responsible for picking sites for the fuel cells and reaching out to potential customers, Castelino said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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