Vancouver company designs energy cell to power 600 homes

FirstEnergy, an electric company in Ohio, is testing out a new one-megawatt energy cell designed by Vancouver’s Ballard Systems. The one-megawatt cell has the capacity to power 600 homes.

The cell, 54-feet long and mounted on a flatbed semi truck for mobility, is designed to store power over time to be used later during the peak May–September usage period. The cell is the world’s largest proton exchange membrane and produces only water and heat as by-products while producing the vast amount of energy. The mobility is a huge advantage, because the cell can be moved to any part of the grid served by FirstEnergy whenever extra power is needed.

“Finding new sources of clean, renewable peaking energy is important for meeting our customers’ energy needs and helping us meet increasingly stringent environmental requirements,” said Gary R. Leidich, executive vice president and president of FirstEnergy Generation. “This fuel cell system has the added benefit of being mobile, so it can provide peaking power when and where it’s needed.”

FirstEnergy will be testing the Canadian energy cell for five years at their power plant in Eastlake, Ohio.