Author Archives: Miguel Rivero

FuelCell Soars on Energy Park Approval

DANBURY — Shares of FuelCell Energy rose 16 percent Friday after state officials approved the Beacon Falls Energy Park.

The park, once constructed, will be the largest of its kind in the world, producing more than 63 megawatts of electricity. Under the plan approved unanimously by the Connecticut Siting Council, CT Energy & Technology will develop the project on eight acres owned by O&G in Beacon Falls. FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL) will supply and maintain the fuel cells at the park as part of a long-term service agreement.

Executives with Danbury-based FuelCell Energy have said they expect to receive significant revenue from the project but have declined to offer specific estimates for the work. A similar, but much smaller, project in Bridgeport that supplies about 15 megawatts has produced more than $125 million in revenue for the company from sales and service agreements.

The project will also help ensure job growth, executives have said, as FuelCell moves forward with a phased expansion plan that would double its production capacity to about 200 megawatts annually. State officials have offered the company a $10 million loan to help with the $65 million expansion. Up to half of the loan is forgivable if FuelCell hires an additional 325 workers as part of the expansion. The company already has about 500 employees in the region.

FuelCell Energy’s stock surged more than 20 percent during early trading Friday, before closing at around $6.16 per share.

The stock also rallied earlier this week by more than 10 percent after the company announced a deal to supply Pfizer with a 5.6 megawatt power plant that will provide both heat and electricity to the company’s 160-acre campus in Groton. Pfizer will purchase the power and steam under a 20-year agreement.

“This power-purchase model delivers immediate value while increasing electrical reliability by providing the security of on-site power with a financial structure that avoids an investment in power generation assets; and FuelCell Energy installs, operates and maintains the fuel cell power plants,” Chip Bottone, the president and CEO of FuelCell Energy, said in a statement released earlier this week.

The positive news comes on the heels of the company falling short of expectations last month with its reported fourth-quarter loss of 38 cents per share. Most analysts had expected a loss of around 27 cents per share. The company’s revenues for the quarter, however, were mostly in line with expectations, with about $51.5 million reported for the quarter as compared to $47 million for the same period the previous year.


DetecTape™ Identifies New Leaks in the Hydrogen Industry

DetecTape, a new low cost visual leak detection tape in the hydrogen industry, is now available.

Berlin, Connecticut – January 2016

Midsun Specialty Products, Inc. (MSP), a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty silicone tapes in Berlin, Connecticut announced a partnership today with Boulder, Colorado based Element One, Inc. to bring a new visual leak detection technology to industries and companies that use hydrogen.  The technology is designed for use by inspection and maintenance teams with the intent of expediting the leak identification process in hydrogen fuel cell, generation, storage, and transmission facilities. It is one of the first reliable, low-cost, and easily deployable leak detectors to hit the market.

DetecTape™ employs a patent pending color changing pigment that is dispersed into a UV protected gas permeable silicone membrane. Within minutes of a hydrogen gas leak, the highly sensitive pigment reacts with the hydrogen and changes color from light gray to black, allowing inspectors to visually identify leaks from a distance and initiate repair protocols. DetecTape™ is meant to be used in conjunction with other leak detection tools, such as sniffers and electronic sensors, and provide a localized visual signal to quickly find leaks.

The technology is available in tape roll form with perforated strips designed to accommodate many common diameter hydrogen transmission lines. DetecTape™ utilizes a self-fusing technology that contains no glues, but chemically bonds to itself on contact to prevent extreme condition related adhesive failure. The tape can be wrapped around valves, flanges, joints, welded seams and other miscellaneous connections. Installation is performed by wrapping the tape around the pipe fixture so that it overlaps and seals to itself.

DetecTape™ is for use in facilities that create, store, and deliver hydrogen including fuel cell plants, refineries, generation plants, electric utilities, research laboratories, and fueling stations. During a recent visit to the MSP facility, Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director of Fuel Cell Technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy, emphasized the importance of new technologies like these that improve facility safety and strengthen the reliability of our nation’s growing hydrogen infrastructure. DetecTape™ is currently undergoing field trials in select hydrogen industry facilities and is under continual testing at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Test data and reports are available upon request.

For more information on field trial participation, procurement, and test reports, please visit, contact Midsun Specialty Products by phone at (888) 866-8273 or email  To stay updated on important developments during the launch, please join the DetecTape™ mailing list on the product website.

Element One, Inc. based in Boulder, Colorado, was formed to develop and market new low-cost hydrogen indicators that use chemochromic (color change) materials, thin films, and newly developed fabrication techniques as the basis for a wide array of low-cost, wide area hydrogen indicators. More information about Element One, Inc. is available at

MSP, Inc. has been a provider of silicone and specialty products to industries across the globe since 2000.  Originating in electrical utility industry solutions, MSP has quickly become a leader in retail and industrial markets by delivering the latest silicone technologies and niche industry products to markets in need of alternative solutions while keeping customer service and quality a constant priority. MSP, Inc. is privately held and headquartered in Berlin, Connecticut.
More information about MSP, Inc. is available at

Nancy Garland visits AMC

Nancy Garland, the Lead for the Manufacturing R&D Program at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office, recently visited the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology’s Advanced Manufacturing Center. Dr. Garland was interested in CCAT’s capabilities for manufacturing, including prototype fabrication, multi-material 3D plastic printing, 5-axis precision machining (for parts up to 20 inches), powdered metal additive manufacturing, non-contact inspection, reverse engineering, and wire electrical discharge machining (EDM). CCAT’s manufacturing and process solutions help companies to run better, faster and cheaper by deploying technologies that will increase productivity without interfering with your current production environment.

Nancy Garland (DOE) and Wayne Sumple discuss CCAT’s advanced manufacturing capabilities

Nancy Garland (DOE) and Wayne Sumple discuss CCAT’s advanced manufacturing capabilities

DOE has expressed interest in transitioning the research and development for the emerging hydrogen fuel cell industry to advance manufacturing to increase production, drive down costs, and increase durability. CCAT will be managing the DOE Northeast Technical Exchange Center, which will be part of national effort to facilitate the development and expansion of the domestic supply chain necessary for the manufacture and scale up of hydrogen and fuel cell systems in the United States.

In Memoriam

State Representative Terry Backer was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1993 from the 121st Assembly District in Stratford. Rep. Backer, also known as the Long Island “Soundkeeper”, served in numerous positions in the legislature, including Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee, Assistant Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Whip. During his tenure as Chairman Rep Backerof the Energy and Technology Committee (2002-2003), Backer authored legislation that refined Connecticut’s 1998 Electric Deregulation and Restructuring law and improved the components about environmental and renewable energy. Rep. Backer focused on renewable energy and energy security. Rep. Backer had a vision for Connecticut’s clean energy future that included fuel cell technology manufactured here in Connecticut. He supported numerous policies to encourage the development, manufacture, and use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.  As a member of the Environment Committee, Rep. Backer focused his activities on water quality improvements, reduction of pollution from storm water runoff, and protection of Long Island Sound.

Energy Department Announces $35 Million to Advance Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies

The Energy Department today announced up to $35 million in available funding to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies that will reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and cut harmful carbon emissions. As part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, this funding will accelerate American innovation in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by supporting research and development, early market deployments, and domestic manufacturing. The Department also aims to develop collaborative consortia for fuel cell performance and durability and advanced hydrogen storage materials research to leverage the capabilities of national lab core teams.

The available funding includes hydrogen production, delivery, and storage research and development (R&D); demonstration of infrastructure component manufacturing, and support for Climate Action Champions deploying hydrogen and fuel cell technologies; consortia topics for fuel cell performance and durability and advanced hydrogen storage materials research; and cost and performance analysis for hydrogen production, storage, and fuel cells.

Fuel cells generated major headlines and excitement in 2015 as automakers delivered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to customers in select locations around the world and unveiled new models and market introduction strategies. Commercial leases began in the U.S. and Japan in 2014 and 2015, and several automakers are now selling their commercial FCEVs in California and Japan.

As FCEVs become increasingly commercially available, the Energy Department is focused on advancements to enable hydrogen infrastructure including production, delivery, storage, and manufacturing, as well as continuing to reduce fuel cell cost and improve durability. This FOA includes highly targeted and collaborative lab-led consortium projects in both fuel cells and hydrogen storage technologies.

The FOA includes four general areas of interest, each with several subtopics:

  • Research and Development (R&D)
    • Hydrogen Production R&D: High-Temperature Water Splitting compatible with renewable and sustainable energy sources
    • Advanced Compression
    • Advanced vacuum insulation for automotive applications
  • Demonstration and Deployments
    • Component Manufacturing and Standardization for hydrogen Infrastructure (e.g., hose/piping, dispenser/station technologies)
    • Crosscutting: America’s Climate Action Champions
  • Consortia Topics
    • Fuel Cell – Performance and Durability (FC-PAD)
    • Hydrogen Storage Materials – Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC)
  • Analysis
    • Cost and Performance Analysis for Fuel Cells
    • Cost and Performance Analysis for Hydrogen Storage
    • Cost and Performance Analysis for Hydrogen Production and Delivery

More information, application requirements, and instructions can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website.

The Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about the Energy Department’s broader efforts to develop affordable, efficient fuel cell and hydrogen technologies on EERE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cells page.