Karlsruhe. The planned 1-MW Fuel Cell Demonstration Unit at EnBW power station in Marbach on the Neckar will not be built. This was the decision reached by the Consortium partners Electricité de France (EDF), Gaz de France (GDF), TIWAG-Tiroler Wasserkraft AG, Siemens-Westinghouse (USA) , Siemens AG (Germany) and EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG at the most recent consortium meeting in Pittsburgh (USA).
The decision made by the Project Consortium is based on the fact that despite intensive search effort by all parties, a suitable microturbine generator could not be found for pre-commercial fuel cell units that would be available within the given timeframe and financial parameters. Start-up of the fuel cell unit was planned for 2003.
The goal of the American-European Demonstration Project was to collect and evaluate relevant experience with the construction of this first SOFC unit (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) in the MW range for the market entry of SOFC technology. The microturbine generator was intended to be integrated with a pressurized fuel cell stack to reach a very high electrical efficiency of almost 60 percent. Because of its importance to future energy supply, the Project was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Union.
Despite the decision not to build the 1-MW-Fuel Cell Power Plant, the Project Consortium agreed to continue cooperation with the purpose to develop market-driven products based on SOFC technology. The Cooperation will promote applications for fuel cells as a trend-setting form of decentralized power generation and will benefit all partners.