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Petition No. 696

Johnson Controls Inc.

Fairfield, Connecticut

October 22, 2004

Staff Report

            On October 13, 2004, the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) received a petition from Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) for a declaratory ruling that no Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is required to install a 200-kW fuel cell at the Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) located at 330 One Road Highway, Fairfield.

The fuel cell would provide electricity for one of the buildings at the WPCF.  The installation of the fuel cell is funded in part by Connecticut Innovations, Inc., acting as the administrator of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund, also known as the State of Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The fuel cell would also be used for education purposes, as students around the State would be able to visit the fuel cell site through anticipated tours and forums at the WPCF.  In particular, a partnership with Fairfield University has been formed for this purpose.

The fuel cell would be located outside and adjacent to building #8 at the WPCF.  The fuel cell would be fueled by the building’s natural gas supply line with a new gas meter to be installed between the building and the fuel cell.  The electrical output would be 200 kW at three phase 480 volts.  The fuel cell also produces up to 900,000 Btu/hr of waste heat which would be used to heat the building via a hot water/glycol system.  The remaining waste heat would be rejected outside with the hot coolant flowing through the adjacent three-fan cooling module.  Also, a water line would be connected to the fuel cell to provide make-up water for the fuel cell.  The unit would consume approximately 0.3 gallons per minute of water. 

  The fuel cell is approximately 10 feet tall and located on a 12’ x 7’ concrete pad.  The cooling module is located on an adjacent 3’ x 9.5’ concrete pad.  (The fuel cell and cooling module are already in place, but have not been connected pending the outcome of this Petition.)  If approved, JCI would commission the fuel cell on or before December 31, 2004

The site is located on Town property and no homes are visible from the site.  The closest homes are approximately ¼ mile away.  The unit is surrounded on three sides by buildings associated with the WPCF.  On the fourth side, across the street, is a landscaping business.  The view of the fuel cell is blocked by equipment on that property.  Also, the color of the fuel cell is similar to that of the adjacent building, which makes it less visually obtrusive. 


The noise level specification for the fuel cell would be 60 dBa at 30 feet.  The noise levels at the property boundary are expected to be even less due to distance, as the unit would be approximately 50 feet from the street.  The unit is not expected to be audible at any residences due to the significant distance.    


The property is secured by a chain-link fence with a gate.  The gate is locked except for regular business hours.  Further, the site plan indicates that 17 bollards would be evenly spaced around the fuel cell and cooling module to protect the equipment from being struck by a vehicle.  The unit would also be remotely monitored by JCI via a phone line. 

This petition was field reviewed by Mike Perrone of the Council staff on October 21, 2004.  Michael S. Maffucci, Project Manager of JCI, was also present at the field review.