Location: New York City Aquarium, 502 Surf
Avenue, Coney Island, N.Y.
Host: New York City Wildlife Conservation
Rating: 200 kw
Installation Date: December 2001
Manufacturer: United Technologies Fuel Cells
No. of Units: 1
Technology: Phosphoric Acid
Fuel: Natural Gas
The century-old New York Aquarium, operated close to
the Brooklyn waterfront by the Wildlife Conservation Society, has
adopted one of the newest and most innovative clean energy technologies
to help meet its growing needs.
A Power Authority-installed fuel cell installed in 2001
produces electricity for the aquarium through a non-combustion chemical
process that combines hydrogen and oxygen.
The process is in harmony with the aquarium’s
environmentally sensitive mission. Situated on 14 acres in Coney Island,
the aquarium aims to raise public awareness about issues facing the
ocean and its inhabitants with special exhibits, public events and
fuel cell helps meet two of Gov. George E. Pataki’s important
priorities: cleaner air and a reliable, economical electricity supply
for New Yorkers.
The aquarium’s fuel cell, the first installed in
Brooklyn by NYPA, was developed by UTC Fuel Cells and generates 200
kilowatts of electricity, along with 700,000 Btu of heat, while
producing virtually no pollution. Fueled by natural gas, the unit will
supply about 20 percent of the aquarium’s daily requirements. The fuel
cell’s heat will be used to preheat hot water for an aquarium boiler and
With more than 350 species of aquatic wildlife and over
8,000 specimens, ranging from beluga whales to walruses, sea otters,
sharks, penguins and seals, the facility must operate an elaborate
water-storage and -filtration system 24 hours a day.
Funding for the $1.1 million project was a
collaborative effort between NYPA, the U.S. Department of Energy and the
Office of the Brooklyn Borough President. DOE funding of $200,000 was
provided through an $800,000 grant awarded to NYPA in the late 1990s to
install four fuel cells in the New York metropolitan area. The Borough
President’s Office provided $100,000. NYPA provided the remainder of the
funding as part of its long-term energy services agreement with the City
of New York.
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