02/25/2014 | Thomas Overton
Gyeonggi Green Energy Facility, a 59 MW fuel cell park in Hwasung City, South Korea, commenced commercial operations on 19 February. The plant consists of a 2.8 MW hydrogen fuel cell supplied by FuelCell Energy from Danbury, Conn.
The 5.1 hectare facility in Gyeonggi Province, along the country’s northwest coast, is owned and operated by POSCO Energy, the country’s largest independent power producer. Construction begins at the end of 2012 and completed earlier this year. Fuel cells running on natural gas are converted to hydrogen and also provide heat to local district heating systems.
This installation scale contributes to the electrical and heating needs of urban residents and generates electricity in highly efficient and ultra-low emission profiles that support our national renewable portfolio standard, “said Tae-Ho Lee, CEO of Green Energy Gyeonggi.
POSCO and FuelCell Energy are planning another fuel cell project adjacent to a train station operated by Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp. The 19.6 MW facility, which consists of seven fuel cells of 2.8 MW, will provide power to the local depot and Grid, in addition to district heating. Commercial operations are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The facility is the first of several fuel cell projects planned to consist of 230 MW in the Seoul region.
Like the Gyeonggi facility, the fuel cell in Seoul park will be produced by POSCO under license from FuelCell Energy as part of POSCO’s drive to position itself in Korea’s clean energy market. POSCO is currently building a fuel cell plant that is expected to start operating in 2015 and a capacity of 100 MW per year.
South Korea has struggling to modernize and diversify the electricity Sector for several years. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, and has mandated that its largest utility gains 10% of its energy from renewable energy by 2022.
-Thomas W. Overton is the associate editor of POWER (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine).