WATT Fuel Cell (WATT) will supply 500 of its 1.5 kW Imperial solid oxide fuel cells to Hope Gas, Inc., a natural gas utility in West Virginia, to be distributed amongst residential homes throughout the state. WATT’s natural-gas-powered fuel cells generate power by converting fuel and air through an electrochemical process and by drawing hydrogen molecules from readily available natural gas.
The fuel cells also run parallel with the electric grid, meaning if power demand increases beyond the fuel cell’s capacity, the home will draw additional power from the electric grid. These processes combine to provide an uninterrupted power supply to West Virginian residents, who experience power outages four to five times higher than the national average.
Customers who adopt these fuel cell units will experience several benefits, including energy security in remote locations or when storms and grid issues disrupt residential power. Wider adoption will also help the state transition away from coal and secure funding from the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
"By leveraging West Virginia's vast natural gas resources and advanced fuel-cell technology, we can create tremendous value for Hope's customers, employees, and stakeholders," said Morgan O'Brien, President and CEO of Hope Gas. "Our vision is to expand the footprint within the state, including to underserved communities. Ultimately, this innovation will help us create new family-sustaining jobs and bring additional jobs into the state in year one.”