Rome, 27 February 2008 - Ansaldo Fuel Cells, a Finmeccanica company coordinated by Ansaldo Energia, has signed a partnership agreement with Enel to develop, build and test an integrated trigeneration system with a molten carbonate fuel cells generation plant using Ansaldo Fuel Cells technology. The agreement launches a major partnership between Ansaldo Fuel Cells and Enel, involving the development of molten carbonate fuel cells.
The agreement covers the joint construction by mid-2009 of a highly efficient plant, with capacity of around 0.5 MW, at Enels research centre in Livorno, which will able to supply electricity as well as heating and cooling energy. Ansaldo Fuel Cells will install new components and solutions at the plant, which will provide superior performance compared to other demonstration plants completed successfully in recent years. The operation of the system by Enel Research staff will raise the profile of fuel cells technology and demonstrate its reliability, in addition to promoting and contributing actively to the development of a product designed in Italy.
The partnership also covers the joint development of certain system components, notably the interface between the fuel cells and the electricity grid.
The project represents an important part of Ansaldo Fuel Cells current Product Development Plan, which should provide the company with a product ready to market in the near future.
The initiative represents another step forward in the research of distributed generation, part of Enel's Environment and Innovation Plan, to which the group, led by CEO Fulvio Conti, has allocated total investment of EUR 4 billion until 2011.
The fuel cells produce electricity and thermal energy more efficiently than conventional technologies and have a much lower impact on the environment, thanks to negligible emissions and low noise levels.
Finmeccanica has entrusted its subsidiary Ansaldo Fuel Cells, the only company in Europe that has invested heavily in the development of molten carbonate fuel cells, with all activities relating to this sector, with the aim of developing, producing and selling the product, in line with the Groups growth strategies.
Enel, which has always placed a lot of importance on innovative projects and technologies in the area of power generation, has selected Ansaldo Fuel Cells as its strategic partner for research into alternative energy sources with a lower environmental impact. The agreement also offers the opportunity to build and sell other similar plants, together with Ansaldo Fuel Cells, in the countries in which it operates, thereby boosting its presence in the fuel cells sector.
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