RAHWAY, N.J., Oct. 29, 2002 — The first fuel cell in New Jersey installed under the Board of Public Utilities’ (BPU) statewide initiative to promote the use of clean and renewable energy technologies was formally dedicated at the Merck & Co. Inc. facility in Rathway, N.J., Tuesday.
BPU President Jeanne M. Fox and NUI Elizabethtown Gas President Victor A. Fortkiewicz presented a $710,000 rebate check to Lawrence J. Naldi, plant manager of Merck’s Rahway/Linden site, under the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, which rewards businesses in the state that install new energy generating equipment utilizing alternative technologies.
Merck is also receiving a $200,000 rebate from the U.S. Department of Defense under an alternative technology program sponsored by the federal government. The rebates will help offset Merck’s investment in fuel cell technology.
President Fox said, “The fuel cell project at Merck is an ideal example of a public/private partnership working together to create new energy technologies that will result in a cleaner environment I commend Merck, NUI Elizabethtown Gas and others for their leadership and commitment on this important project.”
A fuel cell operates much like a continuous battery. It combines hydrogen and oxygen through an electrochemical process to create electricity, heat and water. The hydrogen is obtained by removing it from natural gas. Since electricity is created through an electrochemical process instead of combustion, there are virtually no emissions from the fuel cell. The fuel cell’s waste heat is recovered from the process and used for other purposes, thus creating even greater efficiencies.
The fuel cell installed at Merck is a 200-kilowatt unit manufactured by UTC Fuel Cells, a part of United Technologies Corp.’s (NYSE: UTX – News) UTC Power unit. Engineering design work was performed by Dome-Tech Engineering of Edison. The electricity generated by the fuel cell is the equivalent of the power that would be used on a daily basis by 100 typical single-family homes.
It will become a supplemental source of energy for Merck’s operations.
Naldi said, “In addition to the energy efficiency and environmental benefits of the fuel cell, we were impressed with the reliability of this technology. We operate around the clock and many of our research materials require refrigeration, so a constant, reliable supply of electricity – 99.999% free of the possibility of power outages – is critical to our operations.”
Vincent Gates, Merck Rahway Site Energy Conservation Manager, noted, “this project is very exciting because of the savings for Merck and for the environment. The electricity generated by the fuel cell will provide a significant annual expense savings for Merck. The application of the fuel cell will provide electricity and heat at costs below market price. By recovering energy that would be wasted, the fuel cell will help heat the adjacent four-story building and the good news for the environment is that a fuel cell operates virtually pollution free. While a traditional generating system produces as much as 25 pounds of pollutants to generate 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the UTC PC25 Fuel Cell produces less than an ounce.”
Fortkiewicz of NUI Elizabethtown Gas said the installation of the fuel cell demonstrates the effectiveness of the BPU’s program. “By encouraging the use of alternative energy technologies through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, President Fox and the Board of Public Utilities are improving both the economic and environmental climates of our state.
Helping businesses reduce their energy costs by using rebates to make fuel cells and other clean, renewable energy technologies more affordable demonstrates their commitment to New Jersey’s economic well being. At the same time, technologies that eliminate pollutants and increase energy efficiency will help improve the state’s air quality and conserve our natural resources.
“From the standpoint of NUI Elizabethtown Gas, Merck has been a valued customer for decades, “Fortkiewicz continued. “The installation of this natural gas-powered fuel cell represents a strengthening of the relationship between our two businesses. It’s our hope that we will continue to assist Merck in finding solutions to their future energy needs. In short, this represents a “win-win” situation for all the parties involved. ” Merck & Co., Inc. is a leading research-driven pharmaceutical products and services company. Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve human and animal health, directly, and through its joint ventures.
NUI Elizabethtown Gas is an affiliate of NUI Corporation (NYSE: NUI – News). NUI, based in Bedminster, NJ, provides energy, telecommunications and business services. NUI operates six natural gas utilities, and businesses involved in natural gas storage and pipeline activities; wholesale energy trading and portfolio management; retail energy sales; energy and environmental project development; energy consulting; telecommunications; and geospatial and customer information systems and services. Visit our web site at www.nui.com.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by the BPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about the Board of Public Utilities, visit our web site at www.bpu.state.nj.us.
UTC Fuel Cells is a provider in fuel cell production and development for commercial, transportation, residential and space applications. More information on UTC Fuel Cells can be found at www.utcfuelcells.com.