Pepperidge Farm Installs Second Fuel Cell Power Plant

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The food manufacturer dedicated a 1.2 megawatt fuel cell power plant at its bakery facility in Bloomfield, CT earlier this month. Manufactured by FuelCell Energy, located in Danbury, CT, the fuel cell is now the biggest power source for the Pepperidge Farm’s 260,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

The initiative was supported in part by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a ratepayer fund administered by Connecticut Innovations Inc., which provided a grant of $3.5 million to Pepperidge Farm (parent company Campbell Soup Company) to offset part of the cost of construction last year.

This is the second fuel cell power plant installation at the Bloomfield plant, which opened in 2003. A smaller, FuelCell Energy 250-kilowatt fuel cell was commissioned for the site in January 2006, also with assistance from CCEF.

The company stated that, on its own, the new fuel cell is supplying about 57% of the total electrical needs for the bakery. Combined with the smaller fuel cell, this installation fulfills 70% of the plant’s electricity needs. Both fuel cells operate 24/7 at the plant that operates three shifts, six days a week. Additionally, excess heat from the new fuel cell is being used to support bakery processes, which helps reduce fuel needs for plant boilers.

“Pepperidge Farm is making excellent use of all the attributes of the fuel cell,” said Lise Dondy, President of CCEF. “Not only are they deriving a significant portion of their required electricity, but they are also effectively utilizing the fuel cell’s thermal output to enjoy the added benefit of being able to operate with a decreased dependence on less efficient resources.”

“We are pleased that Pepperidge Farm relies on DFC(R) fuel cells to achieve its sustainability goals,” added Richard Shaw, Director Business Development for FuelCell Energy. “By using our ultra-clean, highly efficient DFC(R) fuel cells, Pepperidge Farm stands to significantly reduce power costs while lowering emissions and increasing power reliability.”

“We are already seeing the benefits of this investment in our bakery, and it supports the clean energy goals of both our home state of Connecticut and our parent Campbell Soup,” said Robert Furbee, Pepperidge Farm senior vice president, operations. “It signifies not only a great business initiative but also a great partnership among Connecticut entities committed to pursuing clean, alternative energy sources for the state — Pepperidge Farm, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, and FuelCell Energy, Inc.”

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