FuelCell Energy, Inc. has increased its annual production to 55 megawatts from the current 25 megawatts run-rate.
In conjunction with this action, the US-based company will add more than 100 manufacturing jobs at its Torrington, Connecticut, manufacturing facility to support the 120% increase in production rate.
“We are excited to commence our plan to expand production and welcome over 100 new employees to FuelCell Energy,” enthused Chip Bottone, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy, Inc. “With the support of Connecticut, last year we undertook the expansion of our manufacturing facility to better position FuelCell Energy for growth. We have seen steadily building momentum commercially, and the recent award from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) of two projects totalling 22.2 megawatts provides the visibility we needed to commence hiring and increase our production. With approximately 85 megawatts of new projects slated for production over the next 18 months, and a very active pipeline of new projects, we are confident that this is the right time to take this action.”
Bottone continued, “Our financial performance has reflected the impact of the reduced manufacturing run-rate over the past couple of years, costing the business over $12m annually in under-absorbed factory overhead. Once this production increase is fully implemented, we will no longer have this drag on our financial results. This, combined with the growing generation portfolio revenue, service revenue, and advanced technologies activity, sets up 2019 to be an improved year for FuelCell Energy as we continue our march to sustained profitability.”
The Torrington factory was constructed in 2001 with an initial operating capacity of 50 megawatts per year. At the time, the company’s technology centred on 250 kilowatt fuel cell units with a cell life of three years. Today the factory is capable of producing 100 megawatts per year and sized to scale to approximately 200 megawatts with additional investment in machinery. The products being manufactured and delivered today are megawatt class fuel cells with electrical efficiencies of up to 60% and a cell life of seven years. Deployments range in size from 1.4 megawatt university and hospital campus installations to a 60 megawatt utility scale fuel cell park.