Ceramic Fuel Cells signs contract with Smart Grid, Smart City project

Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (Australia), a developer of high efficiency and low emission electricity generation units for homes and other buildings, Tuesday announced it has signed a contract to sell 25 BlueGen gas-to-electricity units to Ausgrid (formerly Energy Australia).

The units will be installed in homes in Newcastle as part of Ausgrid’s ‘Smart Grid, Smart City’ project. The $100 million project, funded by the Australian Government, is Australia’s largest smart grid project.

The 25 BlueGen units – the second largest BlueGen order received by Ceramic Fuel

Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (Australia), a developer of high efficiency and low emission electricity generation units for homes and other buildings, Tuesday announced it has signed a contract to sell 25 BlueGen gas-to-electricity units to Ausgrid (formerly Energy Australia).

The units will be installed in homes in Newcastle as part of Ausgrid’s ‘Smart Grid, Smart City’ project. The $100 million project, funded by the Australian Government, is Australia’s largest smart grid project.

The 25 BlueGen units – the second largest BlueGen order received by Ceramic Fuel
Cells – will be installed in homes over the next few months, generating electricity from natural gas, as well as providing hot water for the home.

The ‘Smart Grid, Smart City’ initiative utilizes a smart grid – a new type of electricity network that uses advanced communication, sensing and metering that more efficiently manages electricity supply and demand. The initiative is gathering robust information about the costs and benefits of smart grids, and will inform future decisions by government, electricity providers, technology suppliers and consumers across
Australia.

The project’s consortium includes CSIRO, IBM Australia, AGL, GE Energy, TransGrid, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government.

The order from Ausgrid follows the company’s previous purchase of a BlueGen unit for its Smart Home in the Sydney suburb of Newington. Since the unit was installed in
August 2010 it has generated 9,283 kilowatts of power and saved 10.4 tonnes of CO2 compared to power from the local grid. Importantly Ausgrid has run the unit in a variety of modes, including constant power and modulating power, to match the typical load of a home. The BlueGen at the Smart Home has been generating about twice as much electricity as the family has been using to run their household appliances and charge an electric vehicle. Any excess electricity generated by the BlueGen has been exported to the grid.

Brendan Dow, Managing Director of Ceramic Fuel Cells, said: “We are delighted that
Ausgrid has selected BlueGen units for its ‘Smart Grid, Smart City’ project. The distributed generation of electricity – creating electricity near the place of use, rather than centrally – is an important part of the future of smart grids.”

Ausgrid Managing Director George Maltabarow said: “We’re testing whether adding distributed generation like fuel cells can make the grid more efficient by flattening out peaks in electricity demand, as well as deliver benefits to households.”