Connecticut fuel cell industry looks to expand, despite setbacks

Connecticut fuel cell industry looks to expand, despite setbacks

(New Haven Register, 1/1/2017) Connecticut’s fuel cell industry has the potential to grow despite some recent setbacks the sector has received, according to the chairman of a group that supports the hydrogen and fuel cell industry through education and outreach.

Joel Rinebold, chairman of Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster, said the sector can continue to grow despite the setbacks, albeit at a slower pace, He is also the director of energy at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology.

The two setbacks, according to Rinebold were:

  • A failure to renew fuel-cell tax credits at the federal level.
  • A decision by Connecticut and Massachusetts officials to reject a bid by a Beacon Falls fuel cell farm for inclusion in multi-renewable energy procurement.

“We still see the industry moving forward,” Rinebold said. “But it’s going to be considerably more difficult.”

The 30 percent investment tax credit for qualified fuel cell projects “provides substantial cash flow” for companies like Danbury-based FuelCell Energy, Rinebold said. The company, which has a factory in Torrington, is also involved in the Beacon Falls project.

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