Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc.

November 07, 2006 11:03 ET

FuelCell Energy and Enbridge Announce Production of First Ultra-Efficient Hybrid FuelCell Power Plant for Pipeline Applications

Enbridge orders 1.2 MW FuelCell Energy power plant Hybrid fuel cell technology recovers energy from pipeline operations, increases electrical efficiency, reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions

DANBURY, CONNECTICUT AND CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 7, 2006) - FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NasdaqNM:FCEL), a leading manufacturer of efficient electric power plants for commercial and industrial customers, and Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB), a leader in energy transportation and distribution worldwide, today announced initiating production of the first multi-megawatt hybrid product, generating ultra-clean electricity while recovering energy normally lost during natural gas pipeline operations.

The new product, the Direct FuelCell-Energy Recovery Generation™ (DFC-ERG™) system, combines a 1.2 megawatt (MW) Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant with a 1 MW unfired gas expansion turbine. Operating at natural gas pipeline letdown stations, the system generates 2.2 megawatts (MW) of ultra-clean electricity.

Engineering of the DFC-ERG system has been underway for more than a year. Enbridge has ordered FuelCell Energy's new up-rated 1.2 megawatt DFC power plant to ensure product integration is complete in time to meet the needs in emerging markets like Ontario, Canada, and Connecticut, as well as other U.S. states.

To transport natural gas across the continent, natural gas pipelines operate at high pressures and considerable energy must be injected to achieve the pressures required. This high pressure must be reduced when the gas enters lower pressure systems that deliver gas to homes and businesses. Currently, there is no commercial use made of the energy that is lost at that stage. Additionally, when pressure is reduced, the gas cools. To ensure reliable pipeline operations, the cooling must be offset -- by burning some gas in boilers, reheating the supply to an acceptable temperature.

With the new DFC-ERG system, high-pressure gas passes through a turbine, capturing some of the energy that was otherwise lost, and turns it into usable electricity. The integrated fuel cell also electrochemically converts some of the gas into low-impact, environmentally friendly electricity. Finally, heat normally generated by the fuel cell warms the gas to its proper distribution temperature -- thus eliminating the boiler (and its emissions). The combined system can achieve electrical efficiencies over 60 percent, with low noise and virtually zero smog emissions.

"This first DFC-ERG will illustrate the benefits of DFC power plants in delivering unparalleled energy efficiency, which is extremely important in this climate of rising fuel prices," said R. Daniel Brdar, FuelCell Energy's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This system addresses a significant need, and opens new market opportunities for the company."

Availability of the hybrid power plant is expected to be in the third calendar quarter of 2007. Enbridge's research has identified 40-60 MW of opportunities for the DFC-ERG system in just one of its operating areas. The North American market represents another 200-300 MW, consisting of the half dozen U.S. states currently seeking to add fuel cells' environmental attributes to their Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). These jurisdictions recognize that a portfolio of low-impact energy supplies, renewables and near-zero emission fossil fuel technologies can provide immediate and long-term benefits.

Hybrid fuel cell power plants are uniquely positioned to generate electricity with low environmental impact and deliver it to wholesale grids like large wind farms. The state of Connecticut already offers a ready made contract path with its Project 100, and the province of Ontario is soon to release its Clean-Energy Standard Offer Program. Both initiatives are geared toward embedding ultra-clean generation sources to deliver electricity directly to the grid.

The DFC-ERG is particularly well-suited to these programs since the pipeline pressure reducing stations are inherently close to, or embedded within, urban centers -- where the demand for clean electricity is the greatest.

"This is a prime example of how high-efficiency, near-zero emission technologies can play a meaningful role in meeting clean air and climate change objectives," said Jim Schultz, Enbridge Senior Vice President, New Ventures. "Enbridge is a leader in the North American energy market, and we are excited to work with FuelCell Energy and our other vendor partners to commercialize this new innovative fuel cell plant, and to ensure gas utilities are part of the environmental solution for our society."

The first production unit includes the participation of other vendor partners including Cryostar SAS, a global leader in radial in-flow turbines and low-carbon energy solutions, and SatCon Power Systems Canada, Ltd., a global leader of multi-megawatt, utility grade, power inverter solutions. Cryostar, a business unit of the BOC Group, recently was acquired by the Linde Group, a world leading industrial gases and engineering company with a presence in 70 countries and gas and engineering sales of approximately EUR 12 billion.

About Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian company, is a leader in energy transportation and distribution in North America and internationally. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the United States, the world's longest crude oil and liquids pipeline system. The Company also has international operations and a growing involvement in the natural gas transmission and midstream businesses. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. Enbridge employs approximately 4,900 people, primarily in Canada, the United States and South America. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada and on the New York Stock Exchange in the United States under the symbol ENB. Information about Enbridge is available on the Company's website at www.enbridge.com.

About FuelCell Energy, Inc.

FuelCell Energy develops and markets ultra-clean power plants that generate electricity with higher efficiency than distributed generation plants of similar size and with virtually no air pollution. Fuel cells produce base load electricity giving commercial and industrial customers greater control over their power generation economics, reliability and emissions. Emerging state, federal and international regulations to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions consider fuel cell power plants in the same environmentally friendly category as wind and solar energy sources -- with the added advantages of running 24 hours a day and the capacity to be installed where wind turbines or solar panels often cannot. Headquartered in Danbury, Conn., FuelCell Energy services over 50 power plant sites around the globe that have generated more than 124 million kilowatt hours, and conducts R&D on next-generation fuel cell technologies to meet the world's ever-increasing demand for ultra-clean distributed energy. For more information on the company, its products and its worldwide commercial distribution alliances, please see www.fuelcellenergy.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's plans and expectations regarding the development and commercialization of its fuel cell technology. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, the risk that commercial field trials of the Company's products will not occur when anticipated, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the utility regulatory environment, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, and competition, as well as other risks set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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