February 16th, 2011 | Uncategorized

Committee votes in favor of fuel cell

New Haven’s government buildings may soon become more energy efficient.

At a meeting of the City Services and Environmental Policy Committee at the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night, aldermen voted in favor of a proposed fuel cell that would power City Hall and the Hall of Records. In a presentation to aldermen, Giovanni Zinn, a consultant with the city’s sustainability office, said a fuel cell would save the city up to $1.3 million over the next ten years.

The fuel cell plan calls for the city to enter into a 10-year leasing contract with UTC Power, which will apply for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and maintain the fuel cell. The cell would provide energy for almost all of City Hall and the Hall of Record’s electricity, 60 percent of their heating load, and 30 percent of their cooling load.

With the committee’s recommendation, the fuel cell plan now heads to the full Board of Aldermen for a vote, which may take place as early as March 7.

If approved, the fuel cell is scheduled to be built this summer and in operation by 2012.