ORLANDO, FL, September 26, 2001 – After a nine-month comprehensive search involving nine U.S. communities and 123 potential sites, Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation announced today that it has selected the Pittsburgh area for the expansion of its Stationary Fuel Cells business.
Siemens Westinghouse selected a 22-acre site for its 430,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in The Waterfront development located in the borough of Munhall within Allegheny County.
Among the communities the company considered were Orlando, Florida, and Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas. “While all three communities presented very compelling proposals and would have been very good places in which to do business, after considering all the factors, we decided that the Pittsburgh area is best for the long-term future success of our business,” said Randy Zwirn, president and CEO of Siemens Westinghouse.
With nine projects committed in the U.S., Canada, and at several locations in Europe, Siemens Westinghouse’s fuel cells business is currently in the technology demonstration phase of developing a revolutionary solution for the distributed generation market. After approximately 20 years of researching and developing the fuel cell technology, implementing demonstration projects and fostering customer acceptance, Siemens Westinghouse now plans to deploy its fuel cell product line in the commercial market by fall 2003.
“Siemens Westinghouse has long been committed to bringing clean, efficient power generation options to the mainstream energy market. In fact, today our turbine generators provide more than one-third of the nation’s electrical energy,” said Zwirn. “Also, for the past 20 years, we have been researching and developing fuel cell technology, which offers applications for use in remote and environmentally sensitive locations, for strengthening reliability of power supply from the transmission grid, and for providing electricity directly where energy is consumed, such as small industrial locations, office complexes, universities, hospitals, data processing centers, or even small neighborhoods.”
The construction of the new facility will begin almost immediately. The first phase of the program will have a 180,000-square-foot-facility built by 2002 and which will be fully operational by spring of 2003. Initial employment at the facility will be approximately 150 people and expand as the business grows to 450-500 people by 2006. Selection criteria for the site included an analysis of business costs, state and local incentives, work force, availability of and proximity to intermodal transportation, demographics, operating environment, universities, and quality of life.
Currently, Siemens Westinghouse’s Stationary Fuel Cells Division is operating out of an R&D pilot plant facility in Churchill, Pennsylvania, which is located 3.5 miles northwest of the new site.
The solid oxide fuel cell technology offers highly efficient, clean power generation with nearly zero emissions. Fuel cells operate on the same principle as a battery – they electrochemically produce electric current from the chemical energy in a fuel.
Siemens Westinghouse is developing its fuel cell technology under a cooperative agreement with the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is the regional business entity in the Americas for Siemens Power Generation’s global fossil power generation business, which has an installed fleet of nearly 550,000 megawatts worldwide. With more than 26,000 employees worldwide, Siemens Power Generation offers a full spectrum of innovative, environmentally friendly, cost-effective power generation products, and an unparalleled level of service and support.