PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., October 29, 2014 – WATT Fuel Cell Corp. (WATT), a developer and manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) components and systems, held a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening event last Friday, Oct. 24 at its facility in Mt. Pleasant, Penn. The facility’s official grand opening followed WATT’s acquisition this past April of Mt. Pleasant-based tubular SOFC developer Pittsburgh Electric Engines, Inc. (PEEI), which combined both companies’ fuel cell technologies and personnel into a single entity.
Last week’s event was attended by several dignitaries at the local, regional and state level, including Ted Kopas, Frank Puskar and Jack Rutkowski from the Mt. Pleasant Township Supervisor’s Office; Dwayne Hutter, Mt. Pleasant Township Supervisor; Ted Kopas and Tyler Courtney, Westmoreland County Commissioner’s Office; Kim Ward, 39th Senatorial District of Pennsylvania; and U.S. Representative Tim Murphy, 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. A member of the House Energy and Environment Committee and founder of the House Caucus on Natural Gas, Congressman Murphy addressed the importance of bringing alternative energy technologies, including SOFCs, to wide-scale commercialization.
“The availability of natural gas has become a driving economic force here in Western Pennsylvania, and WATT’s SOFC technology, which can run on natural gas as well as several readily available fuel sources, aligns with the economic opportunities available in this region,” said Congressman Murphy. “WATT’s SOFCs provide one of the cleanest and most efficient means by which to employ natural gas for electric power generation, and the company’s new manufacturing operations in Mt. Pleasant will further strengthen the local economy.
“This fuel cell technology is not just something that will benefit the corporate, governmental and industrial world,” continued Congressman Murphy. “It is also a clean, efficient and affordable source of electricity for the average apartment dweller, homeowner, and even RV or boating enthusiast – not 10 to 20 years in the future, but now.”
“I am very pleased to welcome WATT Fuel Cell to Mount Pleasant,” said Governor Tom Corbett, who was unable to attend the event. “This is yet another example of how Pennsylvania’s energy revolution and manufacturing renaissance is bringing high-quality jobs to western Pennsylvania.
“WATT Fuel Cell’s innovative approach to manufacturing its fuel cells is a significant advancement as we work to commercialize this technology throughout the Commonwealth,” Governor Corbett continued. “This will lead to increased energy efficiency and enhanced reliability for our electrical grid, both of which are tremendous advantages for consumers.”
“We are incredibly thrilled to be up and running here in our new Mt. Pleasant manufacturing facility, where we are scaling up SOFC production for near-term commercial availability,” said Dr. Caine Finnerty, WATT Fuel Cell’s CEO. “Here, WATT’s advanced manufacturing process, which provides a level of cost effectiveness that is unmatched in the industry, is being combined with PEEI’s 15-plus years of testing and technology development of tubular fuel cell solutions to create reliable, efficient and accessibly priced energy solutions across a wide scope of power application demands.”
According to Finnerty, PEEI’s more than 37,000 hours of technology testing, combined with in excess of 23,000 hours of testing on WATT’s balance-of-plant (BoP) technology, facilitates the company’s strong position as it transitions into larger systems, which will be designed for applications including residential power and smaller-scale distributed generation. WATT remains a leader in development and use of SOFCs that operate on readily available energy sources, such as propane, natural gas and various other liquid and renewable fuels. WATT’s products provide efficient, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy solutions for a range of applications in the portable power and distributed-generation energy markets.
“What we’re talking about here today is the creation of true energy independence – right here in the ‘Land of the Free,’” Finnerty said. “Combining U.S.-sourced fuels with U.S.-manufactured power generation units, WATT is making ‘off the grid’ a reality for America.”