Danbury based FuelCell Energy is to receive a $4 million loan from the state to expand its Torrington plant.
Fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity in a chemical reaction which is almost pollution free.Â FuelCell Energy, which has been in the business for almost ten years, wants to enlarge and update its facility in Torrington, and says the ten million dollar project will add around 100 jobs to its workforce in the next three years.Â The company currently employs almost 470 people.Â
Governor Jodi Rell has said the four million dollar state loan will help to ensure Connecticut remains a leading innovator in fuel cell technology.Â Joe Mahler, the CFO of FuelCell Energy says theyâ€™re seeing a surge in demand from all types of customers.
"Fuel cell can actually produce electricity from a fossil fuel with minimal or no emissions and very reduced CO2 and very high fuel efficiency.Â So when you look at the percentage of say an electric grid thatâ€™s supported by wind or solar itâ€™s relatively a low amount, whereas fossil fuels are clearly the driver.Â So if you can put a product like a fuel cell that has higher efficiency, itâ€™s clean, itâ€™s just a win-win."
The improvements at the Torrington plant would allow it to produce enough fuel cells each year to supply 60 megawatts of electricity â€“ roughly sufficient for 60 thousand homes.