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Connecticut School To Save $800,000 with Fuel Cell

Hamden High School in Connecticut is installing a 400-kilowatt fuel cell to provide 90 percent of its electricity needs.

The fuel cell will also heat the school and its swimming pool with thermal energy that is generated as a byproduct of normal operation.

According to information released by the Hamden Board of Education, the fuel cell will save the school $800,000 over the life of the 10-year energy services agreement with UTC Power, the company that will install and operate the system.

The project is being funded in part by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds managed by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program.

The system will reduce the school's yearly carbon dioxide emissions by more than 809 metric tons and will help the Town of Hamden exceed its goal of generating 20 percent of its electricity through sustainable systems by 2012.

The Hamden Board of Education is also planning to use the fuel cell in the school's science curriculum. Adam Sendroff, chairman of the Hamden Board of Education's operations committee, said, "We think it's important for the students to learn about the benefits of their school's fuel cell. We want them to recognize its role in the day-to-day operation of the school, from providing reliable electricity to supplying the heat to warm the swimming pool."