Douglas PUD Turns to Renewable Hydrogen for Backup Power

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GenCell Energy announced that Douglas PUD, the Douglas County Public Utility District, will deploy the GenCell G5 hydrogen-fueled alkaline fuel cell, a resilient, zero-emission backup power solution. The fuel cell will run on renewable hydrogen produced by their own hydrogen production facility to provide a failsafe, green, long-duration and weather-resistant auxiliary power supply.  

They have elected to use excess electricity to make and sell renewable hydrogen gas which can be used for consumer and industrial purposes, including the operation of the GenCell backup power solution. To this end, the utility initiated the construction of a renewable hydrogen production facility and a new substation.  They looked for a proven and highly resilient backup solution for the substation that could supply utility-scale fuel cell functionality and comply with all the strictest IEC, ISO, IEEE and OSHA safety and quality certifications for utilities.  After considering other solutions, they determined that GenCell was able to meet all of its specifications and its G5 will run on the hydrogen fuel produced by their new facility.  The company will also deploy the GenCell IoT remote management software to monitor the mission-critical equipment, readying the system for an emergency and optimising its performance. 

“Douglas PUD has always been an innovator in the utility industry, as the state looks toward low and zero-emission technologies, our customer-owners want their local PUD to be prepared for the future,” Gary Ivory, general manager at Douglas PUD, said. “Part of that preparation includes the ultra-reliable, weather-resistant GenCell G5 electrochemical generator that leverages innovative alkaline fuel cell technology to run on our renewable hydrogen for substation backup power.”

“We are extremely excited to be a part of this landmark project and to work with Douglas PUD to scale up the U.S. hydrogen economy,” Rami Reshef, CEO of GenCell Energy, added. “Climate conditions are causing utilities across the United States to invest in hardening the grid and in many cases, this involves using backup diesel standby generators, which are expensive and environmentally unfriendly. We are very proud to supply Douglas PUD with a failsafe hydrogen backup power solution that is fully aligned with their sustainability goals and will enable them to consume the renewable hydrogen produced on-site, at the lowest possible emissions, highest reliability and maximum energy and cost efficiency.”

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